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Patriots at Dolphins: Live updates and analysis

It’s a hat and t-shirt game for the Patriots today, who are going for their 10th straight AFC East title when they take on the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. The game will be broadcast on CBS at 1 p.m.

Third quarter

Patriots 27, Dolphins 21 (10:06): Ryan Tannehill, back in the game but limping on the injured ankle, found Danny Amendola for a 10-yard gain on 3rd and 24 as the Dolphins drive stalled. Miami was forced back 10 yards after the officials flagged Laremy Tunsil for illegal use of hands, then Patriots defensive tackle Adam Butler stuffed Kenyan Drake in the backfield. Julian Edelman returned Matt Haack’s punt to the New England 22-yard line.

Patriots 27, Dolphins 21 (14:10): Miami running back Frank Gore fumbled on the first play of the second half. The Dolphins recovered, but not before the players fighting for the loose ball dug up a chunk of the field. Play was delayed as the officials called for the grounds crew to fix the turf.

Second quarter

The Patriots led 27-21 entering the break. A few stats:

Total yards: NE 259, MIA 204

Plays: NE 42, MIA 24

Yards per play: NE 6.2, MIA 8.5

First downs: NE 16, MIA 11

Third down: NE 7-10, MIA 0-3

Penalties: NE 2-10, MIA 1-5

Tom Brady: 18-26, 231 yards, 3 TDs, 135.3 rating

Ryan Tannehill: 5-8, 96 yards, 1 TD, 143.8 rating

Patriots 27, Dolphins 21 (0:00): The Patriots failed to capitalize on the short field position. On 3rd and Goal from the Miami 2-yard line, Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn sacked Tom Brady for a 7-yard loss. The Patriots, who were out of timeouts, could not kick a field goal before time ran out in the first half.

Patriots 27, Dolphins 21 (0:30): Ryan Tannehill walked to the locker room after a teammate stepped on his ankle. Brock Osweiler, who replaced him under center for Miami, was sacked on his first play for a 6-yard loss on 3rd and long. Patriots special teammer Albert McClellan again blocked the punt and New England took over on the Miami 15-yard line.

Patriots 27, Dolphins 21 (0:51): The Patriots matched the Dolphins with a three-and-out of their own. On 3rd and 8 from the New England 28-yard line, Tom Brady passed to James White, who was stopped short of the first down marker. Danny Amendola returned Ryan Allen’s punt to the Miami 32-yard line.

Patriots 27, Dolphins 21 (2:00): The string of five back-and-forth touchdowns finally broke as the Dolphins went three-and-out. After two short rushes, Kyle Van Noy and Jonathan Jones sacked Ryan Tannehill for a 8-yard loss on 3rd and 4. Matt Haack punted 57 yards to Julian Edelman.

Patriots 27, Dolphins 21 (3:49): Before jogging to the sideline accompanied by a trainer, Tom Brady lofted a 16-yard pass to Rob Gronkowski for a touchdown. The quarterback led the Patriots 75 yards in eight plays, completing passes to Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, and Gronkowski for double-digit gains before the tight end reeled in the touchdown throw.

See Your Boston Teams Up Close

Dolphins 21, Patriots 20 (7:28): Brandon Bolden added his second touchdown of the afternoon for Miami, bowling through a collection of Patriots for a 6-yard score. The run capped a six play, 75-yard drive for the Dolphins, sparked by a 43-yard Ryan Tannehill toss to Kenny Stills on the first play.

Patriots 20, Dolphins 14 (10:32): Tom Brady rifled a deep ball to Cordarrelle Patterson for a 37-yard touchdown as the Patriots quickly responded to the Dolphins’ tally. New England drove into Miami territory, via a 17-yard completion to Rob Gronkowski and a 16-yard strike to Julian Edelman on 3rd and 10, before Patterson beat the Dolphins secondary over the top.

Dolphins 14, Patriots 13 (13:26): Former Patriots running back Brandon Bolden broke free from his old teammates, racing for 54 yards and a touchdown for the Dolphins. Bolden’s sprint came on the second play of the drive, after Ryan Tannehill connected with Kenny Stills for a 21-yard gain. Miami needed just two plays and 28 seconds to travel 75 yards for the score.

Patriots 13, Dolphins 7 (14:14): The Patriots made the most of the short field position granted by the blocked punt. On 3rd and Goal from the Miami 2-yard line, Julian Edelman found an inch of separation from his defender and Tom Brady found him for a touchdown. It was the third catch of the drive for Edelman, who was also targeted for a 10-yard gain as the Patriots took back the lead.

First quarter

Dolphins 7, Patriots 6 (2:06): After Dont’a Hightower sacked Ryan Tannehill on 3rd and 10 to bring out the Dolphins punt unit, Albert McClellan blocked the punt and Ramon Humber recovered for the Patriots. The New England offense took over at the Miami 24-yard line.

The Dolphins had picked up one first down, via a defensive holding penalty, before two incompletions led to the 3rd down blitz.

Dolphins 7, Patriots 6 (3:24): The Patriots went three-and-out on their second drive of the game. Tom Brady completed two short passes to Rex Burkhead and Rob Gronkowski to bring up 3rd and 1, then handed off to Burkhead.

Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso dropped the running back in the backfield to stall the drive. Ryan Allen punted 47 yards to Miami wideout Danny Amendola.

Dolphins 7, Patriots 6 (5:32): On 1st and Goal from the New England 7-yard line, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill found Kenny Stills for a touchdown to answer the Patriots’ initial strike. Tannehill marched Miami downfield with a 15-yard completion to DeVante Parker and a 13-yard scramble himself, then watched 35-year-old running back Frank Gore sprint for 36 yards and set up Stills’ score.

Patriots 6, Dolphins 0 (8:13): James Develin, who scored two touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings last week, burst through the Dolphins goal-line defense for six points to put the Patriots on the board. Stephen Gostkowski missed the extra point.

Develin’s 2-yard touchdown punctuated a 12 play, 75-yard drive. Tom Brady led New England downfield, finding Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman on third downs to keep the drive alive before Cordarrelle Patterson raced 14 yards up the sideline and into the red zone.

Pregame scenes

Coin toss: The Dolphins won the toss and elected to defer. Tom Brady and the Patriots start with the ball.

Tom Brady
Fans cheer as Patriots quarterback Tom Brady takes the field for pregame warmups. —Jim Davis/Globe Staff
Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Danny Amendola, left, greets New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. —AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
Brandon Bolden, Jacob Hollister
Miami Dolphins running back Brandon Bolden, right, greets New England Patriots tight end Jacob Hollister. —AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
Patriots Dolphins
After a heavy rain storm came through the area before the game, a Patriots fan hurdled a puddle outside of the stadium. —Jim Davis/Globe Staff


Miami Dolphins: David Fales, QB. Xavien Howard, CB. Jake Brendel, C. Isaac Asiata, G. Zach Sterup, T. Jonathan Woodard, DE. Isaiah Ford, WR.

New England Patriots: James Ferentz, OL. Duke Dawson, DB. Keion Crossen, CB. Danny Shelton, DL. Keionta Davis, DE. Dwayne Allen, TE. Derek Rivers, DE.

Pregame notes

■ A win will pull New England (9-3) within one of evening the all-time series between the franchises. Miami (6-6) leads 54-52 entering Sunday. In the Belichick era, the Patriots have gained significant ground in the series, going 24-13 vs the Dolphins since 2000.

■ The Dolphins have not done a good job protecting the quarterback, allowing 31 sacks for 247 yards of losses.

■ One of the few stats categories the Dolphins lead the Patriots in is turnover differential (Miami +8, NE +6).

■ A win will give the Patriots the NFL record for consecutive playoff appearances with 10, breaking a tie with the Cowboys (1975-1983) and Colts (2002-2010).

■ The Patriots defense has not allowed a 300-yard passer in five-straight games or a 100-yard rusher in nine straight.

■ Tom Brady needs one touchdown pass to become the NFL career for touchdown passes. He starts the day tied with Peyton Manning.

■ If James White catches four passes, he’ll set the Patriots season record for receptions by a running back. He also needs 26 receiving yards to set the Patriots single-season record for receiving yards by a running back.

Keys to victory


1. Miami heat: Defensive ends Cameron Wake and Robert Quinn have to make Tom Brady sweat a little in the Sunshine State. If not, he’s going to burn you time and again.

2. Miami vise: Kiko Alonso & Co. have to put the squeeze on the running backs and prevent the Patriots from achieving the balance that has made them so dangerous the last few weeks.

3. Miami turnover chain: The Dolphins are good at taking away the ball (plus-8), and a couple or three would be huge for a team that is missing some of its top defensive players.


1. Heat lightning: Josh Gordon said he’s “as good as I’ve ever been’’ healthwise. It’s time to test a tattered secondary and see if he and Tom Brady can connect on some deep shots.

2. Heat index: The Patriots backs had a combined 45 touches in the win over the Vikings. Hitting those numbers again would help keep everyone fresh for four quarters.

3. Heat wave: Miami’s offensive line has struggled in pass protection. So, keep coming after Ryan Tannehill from every direction and hit him until he loses his will.

– Jim McBride

Pregame reading

■ What experts are predicting for Sunday’s Patriots-Dolphins game (Read more)

■ 5 things to watch as the Patriots try to clinch their 10th straight division title (Read more)

■ Tara Sullivan: For Tom Brady, Miami is his house of horrors (Read more)

■ Chad Finn: An unconventional preview of Sunday’s Patriots-Dolphins game (Read more)

■ Jim McBride: Scouting the Patriots-Dolphins matchup (Read more)

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