Week 18 Game Review

What a way to finish a season by knocking of the Patriots, and in the process sweeping them for the first time in ages. Recent history has shown that Brian Flores has the upper hand over his former boss. That is no mean feat as there aren’t that many teams that beat the Patriots consistently, yet somehow the Dolphins have done it more often than not over the last three years.

The game started really well as Miami received the opening kick-off and moved down the field with poise and efficiency, capping the drive with a touchdown to Jaylen Waddle in the corner of the endzone. During the drive Tua set about getting Waddle the rookie reception record, and by the time Waddle came down with the ball in the endzone he had surpassed Anquan Boldin’s old record. The odd thing is, after that the rookie almost vanished, he would go the rest of the game with one further reception, it wasn’t as if he wasn’t targeted, he just disappeared.

After the score the day got even better as Xavien Howard broke off his man and stepped infront of a pass, and in a blink of an eye was making his way to the endzone to give the Dolphins a fourteen-point lead. It didn’t finish there though as Mac Jones couldn’t get his offense moving, before too long Jason Sanders was kicking a field goal to push the lead out to seventeen. This was looking like it was going to be a rout to finish the season.

It was obvious the Dolphins had started the game with the intention of running the ball at New England and for the most part it was pretty successful. Duke Johnson was once again the feature back with Phillip Lindsay spelling him. At one point in the second quarter Miami had six consecutive runs, that is almost unheard of. You could argue that it was good the run was working because Tua was having a bad day as he seemed out of sorts. He was lucky that he didn’t finish the game with multiple interceptions.

New England would finally get into the endzone before the half finished, but who would have expected a 17-7 half time lead, especially as the Patriots were looking to improve their post season position. Coming out for the second half with a ten-point lead is great, but Bill Belichick is on the other side. The first drive after the break netted the visitors an additional three points but Miami answered with another touchdown. As the fourth quarter ticked away it looked as if Miami were going to come out winners. Mac Jones had other ideas as New England scored two touchdowns in relatively quick succession to get them within three.

Tua had a little under three minutes left to convert a couple of first downs and run out winners. They tried their upmost and almost pulled it off put had to punt the ball back giving the Patriots three seconds to try their own miracle in Miami. The only difference is they would have to do it from their own two-yard line after a superb punt from Micahel Palardy. It came as no surprise as they set about lateralling the ball around to try and break free up the field, but a poorly thrown back pass was intercepted by Sam Eguavoen in the endzone and that was that, game over, Dolphins win.

It was a great victory for the team and especially the running attack. We say that as Tua wasn’t that impressive, Miami won but he finished the game completing fifteen of twenty-two passes for a shade over one hundred yards and a score. His only redemption was a couple of nice runs to keep a couple of drives alive. This was Duke Johnson’s day and looks to be a keeper going into next year, be it as a starter or backing up a rookie, he has certainly juiced up the position since arriving. One thing we know for sure is, Brian Flores won’t be making that decision……Black Monday arrived the next day and Stephen Ross shook the NFL with the announcement that Brian Flores was being relieved of his duties !!!