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Tom Brady and the Improbable 2018 Playoffs Pt. 3

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots take on the Miami Dolphins in 2018

pt. 3: miami

Slated to take on the Miami Dolphins in week 4 at a 1-2 record, the Patriots receiving game was an even bigger glaring issue than ever before. An inability to find a true #1 receiver was frightening for Patriots fans, and it didn’t seem to be coming to a conclusion any time soon. Thankfully for New England, the run game showed up against Miami.

The Patriots shut down the Dolphins with a final score of 38-7, eliminating Miami’s ability to move the ball offensively. Starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill failed to break the 100-yard passing total, a piece of cake accomplishment in todays NFL. On top of that, Frank Gore, Miami’s lead back at the time, failed to reach 50 yards on the day. In all essence, the Patriots Defense had the Dolphins number – forcing a number of turnovers on the day.

In short, the Patriots defense embarrassed the Dolphins.

On the offensive side of the ball the Patriots looked towards the run game for an answer, and it paid off. Lead back Sony Michel ran for 112 yards while backup man James White tallied 44 yards, pushing the Patriots rushing attack on the day up and over the 150 yard mark.

Things improved in the pass game, but the questions revolving the lack of a number #1 wide receiver were far from answered. The Patriots top pass catcher on the day was James White, who hauled in 8 receptions. While second-highest volume pass-catcher Phillip Dorsett put on another solid performance with 4 receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown, it was far from #1 receiver stats.

Despite their struggles to find a number 1 receiver, the Patriots put up 38 total points. No matter how you reach that point total, it’s impressive.

The following week New England was set to take on the Minnesota Vikings. With the return of Julian Edelman, hopes were high that the 1-2 punch between Edelman and Gronk would get the pass game back to a consistent level. Along with this, Cordarrelle Patterson and Josh Gordon had been impressing on the outside in recent weeks, and Dorsett was ready to take on a solely outside role.

With their refreshed offensive lineup, New England looked to get into midseason form and make a confident push for the 1 seed in the AFC playoff race.

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