Miami 34, New England 33
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 9, 2018
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida
Special to Digital Sports Desk by Field Level Media
MIAMI – Kenyan Drake scored to complete a two-lateral miracle final play as the host Miami Dolphins scored from 69 yards out and defeated the New England Patriots 34-33.
With seven seconds left on the clock, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed a 14-yard pass to Kenny Stills, who lateraled to DeVante Parker, who then found Drake. Drake ran the final 51 yards, scooting past stumbling tight end Rob Gronkowski, whom the Patriots had inserted into the game to stop a “Hail Mary” pass.
“They could throw it deep or run one of their ‘desperado type’ plays,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said of what he thought the Dolphins’ choices were coming down to the wire. “Twenty-yard pass, and then it turned ‘desperado.'”
Tannehill finished 14-of-19 passing for 265 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He battled a sore ankle after he got stepped on in the second quarter, but returned and kept the Dolphins (7-6) in playoff contention with the win.
New England (9-4) had a chance to clinch its division for the 10th straight year but instead lost for the sixth time out of the seven previous games in Miami.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady passed for 358 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
There were nine lead changes in the game, setting franchise records for both teams.
Four-time Pro Bowl kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed a 42-yard field goal and an extra point, and Brady took a sack on the last play of the first half to run out the clock while New England was in chip-shot field-goal position. Those three plays cost New England seven points.
Patriots reserve linebacker Albert McClellan blocked two punts, and the first one led to a touchdown. Gronkowski caught eight passes for 107 yards and one touchdown.
One of the Patriots’ touchdowns was a 2-yard run by James Develin. The Pro Bowl fullback and former college defensive end has six carries this season for 8 yards and four touchdowns.
Two of Miami’s touchdowns were by Brandon Bolden, including a 54-yard run. At the time of his second touchdown, he had just three touches on the season and two touchdowns, and it was sweet revenge since Bolden spent six years with the Patriots, was cut on Sept. 1 and signed by Miami three days later.
Miami was without cornerback Xavien Howard, who leads the NFL with seven interceptions but suffered a knee injury last week. He reportedly had an arthroscopic procedure but could possibly return in Week 15.
New England took a 27-21 lead into halftime on Brady’s 16-yard pass to Gronkowski, who reached over cornerback Bobby McCain to make the grab.
Miami grabbed a 28-27 lead in the third quarter on a 23-yard TD pass to Brice Butler, who is on his fourth NFL team after signing with the Dolphins on Nov. 14.
Gostkowski made field goals of 32 and 22 yards in the fourth quarter, seemingly securing a victory for New England before Drake’s miracle score.
–Field Level Media