Support our education reporting.

The first $10,000 donated will be matched by national nonprofit Report for America. All money raised will go directly to salary and benefits for the Monitor’s education reporter through the summer of 2022. The Monitor remains committed to the principles of truth, democracy and trust.

Jones impresses, but Patriots fall to Dolphins 17-16

  • Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • New England Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith (81) is upended by Miami Dolphins cornerback Justin Coleman during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, right, is congratulated by teammates after his touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) Winslow Townson

  • New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) looks to pass after faking a hand off during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • New England Patriots middle linebacker Kyle Van Noy, left, takes down Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, right, during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) Winslow Townson

  • New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watches play during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) Winslow Townson

  • Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, right, congratulates offensive guard Solomon Kindley (66) during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • Miami Dolphins tight end Durham Smythe (81) hangs onto the ball while taken down by New England Patriots defensive back J.C. Jackson during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) Winslow Townson

  • New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) Winslow Townson

  • New England Patriots wide receiver Nelson Agholor (15) heads for the end zone after a touchdown pass from New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

AP Sports Writer
Published: 9/12/2021 9:10:08 PM

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tua Tagovailoa threw a go-ahead touchdown pass to Jaylen Waddle in the third quarter and Xavien Howard recovered a fumble with New England driving in the fourth to help the Miami Dolphins hold on for a 17-16 win over the Patriots on Sunday.

It was Miami’s second straight win over the Patriots. Tagovailoa also led the Dolphins to a win in the second meeting between the teams last season.

Tagovailoa finished 16 of 27 for 202 yards, a touchdown and one interception, and also had a 3-yard TD run to lead a revamped offense that kept the Patriots’ rebuilt defense guessing, mixing in no-huddle and empty backfield formations. DeVante Parker caught four passes for 81 yards.

Miami’s win spoiled the debut of New England’s Mac Jones, who became the first rookie quarterback to start for the Patriots since Drew Bledsoe in 1993. Jones was 29 of 39 for 281 yards and a touchdown. Damien Harris rushed 23 times for 100 yards, but had the costly fumble to end New England’s comeback hopes.

Miami took a 17-10 lead in the third quarter on a 3-yard touchdown from Tagovailoa to Waddle.

The Patriots cut it to 17-13 in the fourth when they ate up more than five minutes of the clock to drive inside the Dolphins 15. But it stalled there and Nick Folk’s third field goal made it 17-16 with 10:36 left.

On their ensuing drive, the Dolphins were facing third-and-7 on their own 43 when Tagovailoa was flushed out of the pocket and heaved a pass toward the sideline. The ball was tipped and intercepted by Jonathan Jones, giving the ball back to the Patriots at midfield with just over eight minutes remaining.

New England moved all the way to the Miami 11. But on the next play, a 2-yard run by Harris ended with him losing the ball on a hit by Howard. Howard recovered it and the Dolphins took over on their own 9. They were able to run out the clock.

Tagovailoa completed several deep passes on the Patriots secondary, taking advantage of the absence of cornerback Stephon Gilmore. The 2019 NFL Defensive Player of Year started the season on the physically unable to perform list and will miss at least the first six games.

Jones was efficient for most of the game, spreading the ball around to multiple receivers and finding soft spots in the Miami defense for chunk plays. Penalties hurt the Patriots, though, negating big gains and forcing the offense to settle for field goals.

Both offenses had early success moving the ball, but the Dolphins got on the scoreboard first.

Harris had the first big play of the day, slipping through a big hole in middle of Miami’s defense on the game’s opening snap for a 35-yard gain.

It was one of four straight running plays by New England before Jones dropped back to pass for the first time. The play ended with him forcing an awkward throw behind the line of scrimmage that was batted to the turf by Christian Wilkins. The ball rolled free before being recovered by Jonnu Smith for a loss of 9 yards. New England punted two plays later.

Miami took over and mixed in some short passes by Tagovailoa and runs by Myles Gaskin to quickly get into the red zone.

The 10-play, 80-yard drive ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by Tagovailoa to help put Miami in front 7-0.

Injuries

Dolphins: DT Raekwon Davis limped off early in the first quarter with a knee injury.

Patriots: OT Trent Brown left in the first quarter with a right calf injury.

UP NEXT

Dolphins: Host Buffalo next Sunday.

Patriots: Visit the New York Jets next Sunday.




Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301
603-224-5301

 

© 2021 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy