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Patriots 26, Dolphins 23

The New England Patriots salvaged their 1998 season with a dramatic 26-23 win over the Miami Dolphins in a wild one at Foxboro Stadium.

[1168:right]Trailing 23-19 with just under three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Patriots offense orchestrated an 80 yard drive that resulted with a 25-yard touchdown reception by Shawn Jefferson. The extra-point attempt by Adam Vinatieri was successful giving the Patriots a 26-23 lead and final.

Drew Bledsoe - who ignored a broken index finger on his throwing hand - converted two fourth downs and a pair of third-and-longs on the scoring drive.

Bledsoe had a monster of a game completing 28-of-54 passes for 423 yards and two touchdowns. It was the fourth 400-yard passing game of his career.

Although Miami's running game was ineffective, it set the stage for a great passing performance by Dan Marino. Marino was 24-of-38 for 300 yards and a pair of touchdown passes to WR Oronde Gadsden.

Other Notables: The following players were listed as inactive or did not play for New England:WR 18 QB Anthony Ladd, 16 Scott Zolak, SLB 59 Todd Collins, OL 60 Scott Rehberg, G 61 Damon Denson, OT 66 Ed Ellis, RT 77 Zefross Moss, WR 82 Vincent Brisby, DE 55 Willie McGinest, WR 80 Troy Brown, OL 67 Jason Andersen.

WR Shawn Jefferson hauled in six passes for 131 yards and the game-winning touchdown. WR Terry Glenn's return to action was successful as he made seven catches for 66 yards.

Both teams had problems running the ball. The Patriots accumulated a total of 41 yards while the Dolphins countered with a mere 33 yards.

Adam Vinatieri was successful on all four of his field goal attempts. He connected on field goals of 24, 24, 44 and 45 yards.

This game saw both teams attempt fourth-down conversions for a combined six times. New England was 2-for-3 on fourth-down tries; with both conversions coming on the teams final possession of the game. Miami went 2-for-3 as well. One of their successful attempts went the distance as Marino connected with Gadsden for a 35 yard TD score.

A ten point fourth quarter helped propel the Patriots to the 26-23 win over the Dolphins. In the Patriots back-to-back losses to the Atlanta Falcons and Buffalo Bills, they were only able account for ten points in each game.

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