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Home » New England PatriotsNovember 2005 » Excellent well; you are a fishmonger.

Excellent well; you are a fishmonger.

Week 10: November 13, 2005
Patriots (5-4), 23
Dolphins (3-6), 16

Had the Patriots lost this game, they not only would have conceded the lead in the division, but also would have confirmed the status of Miami as the constant and fabled thorn in their flesh. Truth be told, a loss in Pro Player Stadium probably would have been the death knell for New England’s chances for another playoff run.

ESPN’s Tom Jackon selected Asante Samuels’s crushing of the presently svelte 226-pound Ricky Williams on a 2nd down and 10 yard running play in the 3rd quarter as his number one “Jacked Up” hit, but I think this has more to do with Jackon’s dislike of Williams than wanting to highlight a Patriots player. I’m not a big fan of Jackson or his segment because it isolates big tackles without the context of the drive or game. For once, however, Jackson’s selection as dead-on: the Samuels tackle was immediately followed by a 3rd down and 5 yard incomplete pass play from Gus Frerotte to Marty Booker, who was covered by none other than Samuels.

Fullback and West Palm Beach naitve Heath Evans, who was cut from the Dolphins’ roster on October 23rd, came back to haunt his former team. In place of the hobbled Corey Dillon, Evans plowed for 84 yards to lead the Patriots in rushing. As a Dolphin, Evans was tapped to write the player blog for the Palm Beach Post, the only thing that distinguished him while on that team. I checked, it seems that his archives have already been pulled since he was waived. Miami probably wished they could have just as easily erased his production, which was key to the Patriots’ fifth win of the season. How can you not like a guy that said, “I’m just glad we won because the soreness is always a lot worse after a loss. I haven’t played this many snaps in a long time.... What started as a negative turned into a positive for me and my family.” Welcome to our family.

Tim Dwight also had an excellent outing, particularly his 59-yard reception in the 4th quarter to set up the go-ahead touchdown with less than three minutes on the game clock. Of course, according the New England script for the season, he is on the injury list as “questionable” with a rib ailment and has missed practice.

On with the game breakdown:

  • Patriots: 161/248; Dolphins: 231/209. Advantage: New England.
  • The two changes of possession that went in New England’s favor ended up in Adam Vinatieri field goals: Rosevelt Colvin’s jolting of Randy McMichael in the 2nd quarter and Ellis Hobbs’s interception in the 4th quarter. However, an interception of Tom Brady by Yeremiah Bell later in the 4th quarter led to a Dolphins touchdown and the lead. Advantage: Miami.
  • As with last week, the teams were tied for red zone efficiency in terms of percentage (40%), but this week they were also tied with number of attempts converted (2 for 5). Advantage: Push.
  • For the first time in many weeks, the Patriots’ low number of penalties (6 for 38 yards) can be attributed to smart play rather than paltry time of possession. The Dolphins amassed 69 penalty yards on 4 infractions, which seems small. However, 49 of those yards were tied up in a key pass interference call in the 3rd quarter against Miami cornerback Travis Daniels as he covered Andre Davis. This pivotal call brought the Patriots into the opposition’s territory and eventually resulted in a field goal to keep the visiting team in contention. Advantage: New England.
  • Third down conversion rates are a continuing concern for the Patriots, largely attributable to the lack of a consistent running game. Last week, New England was 4 for 11 for 36%. This week, the percentage remained the same but they converted 5 of 14 third downs, so they are at least creating more opportunities for sustained drives. The Dolphins converted 7 of 17 for a 41% third down efficiency rating. Advantage: Miami.

The Patriots face the itinerate Saints (2-7) at Foxborough. With the win, New England would have their first winning streak. Frankly, if they don’t win, they’ll need to start praying to the saints of desperate or lost causes: Jude Thaddeus, Gregory Thaumaturgus, Philomena, and Rita of Cascia.

Game Leaders
Tom Brady: 21/36, 275 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
Gus Frerotte: 25/47, 360 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Heath Evans: 17 carries, 84 yards, 0 TD, 21 yard longest gain
Ronnie Brown: 14 carries, 64 yards, 0 TD, 16 yard longest gain

Deion Branch: 5 receptions, 82 yards, 0 TD, 30 yard longest gain
Ben Watson: 3 receptions, 37 yards, 2 TD, 17 yard longest gain
Marty Booker: 5 receptions, 102 yards, 0 TD, 35 yard longest gain
Chris Chambers: 6 receptions, 69 yards 2 TD, 17
yard longest gain
Michael Stone: 6 tackles, 2 assists
Ellis Hobbs: 5 tackles, 2 assists, 1 interception
Rosevelt Colvin:
3 tackles, 3 assists, 1 forced fumble
Zach Thomas: 8 tackles, 4 assists
Kevin Carter: 3 tackles, 2 assists, 1 sack
Travares Tillman:
3 tackles, 1 assist, 1 interception
Yeremiah Bell: 2 tackles, 1 interception
Jason Taylor: 2 tackles, 1 assist, 1 sack

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