Heading into week 16, the Miami Dolphins came into Foxborough with something to prove despite their losing 5-9 record. In the last 38 games the Patriots played in December, the Patriots only lost three of those games; all three of those games were won by the Miami Dolphins and on this Christmas Eve, the Dolphins had planned on making it four.
The Dolphins set the tone early on in the game with a 47 yard field goal by Dan Carpenter. In fact, they went on to score twice more before the Patriots could even put up any points, shutting them out in the first half, 17-0. Brandon Marshall scored a nineteen yard touchdown and Dolphins full back Charles Clay caught a one yard touchdown pass from Matt Moore which made you think the Dolphins may come out of Gillette Stadium with a win. After second half adjustments, Brady, who was 7-19 for 87 yards in the first half, sped up the tempo in the second half and went 20-27 for 217 yards! Tom Brady threw a touchdown in the back of the end zone to Deion Branch and took two quarterback sneaks into the end zone himself, making a signature Tom Brady comeback to beat the helpless Miami Dolphins.
Momentum started to change early in the second half when Matt Moore coughed up the ball to Vince Wilfork in Miami Territory setting up the Deion Branch touchdown. “We had (Brady’s) number in the first half, but in the second half he came out and made a lot of plays,” Miami linebacker Karlos Dansby said. “He is a coach on the field.” Dansby failed to mention that the Patriots defense stepped up big time in the second half as well while Matt Moore played horrible. Moore threw a costly pick in the fourth quarter to Devin McCourty which put a halt to their drive and after a 10 play 59 yard drive, the Patriots set up Stephen Gostkowski for a 42 yard field goal, the kick was good. The Dolphins did manage to put up another 7 points in the game as Matt Moore hooked up with Davone Bess for a 15 yard touchdown but it was too little too late. Tom Brady got the ball with a minute and forty eight ticks left on the clock and Wes Welker to trust in. Up three points, Wes Welker saved the win on a 6 yard completed catch on a third down and five. The Dolphins were out of time outs and Brady kneeled out the clock to bring the Patriots to 12-3 on the season. Overall, the Patriots weren’t too happy about how the played as a unit but they remained resilient throughout the game which shows their true character, more importantly, they managed to come out with the win. The Patriots (12-3) stay at home to take on the (6-9) Bills in week 17.