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Replay: Patriots Postgame Show Tue Nov 24 | 12:00 AM - 11:55 AM

Patriots drop fourth, 10-3 to Miami

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            **Miami –** In a game that looked like it was played in 100-degree heat (it was on the field), the Patriot and Dolphin defense slugged it out while each team's offense looked listless.  

But 56 minutes does not a football game make and with 3:52 left and New England down by only a touchdown, it looked like the Patriots offense might find some life.

After a perfect Lee Johnson punt pinned Miami on their own 3 and the Patriots defense subsequently held them to three and out, New England took over at midfield.

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            The running of Kevin Faulk eventually picked up 9 yards. Facing a fourth and one at the Miami 41 and down 10-3, New England had no choice but to go for the first down. In one of the more gutsy play calls in recent memory, Bledsoe dropped back and pulled off a perfect fake to Harold Shaw running right. Bledsoe kept the ball and looked for a streaking Glenn in the left half of the field. The pass was complete and No. 88 took it to the Miami 13.  

But despite the big play, New England found itself facing another do-or-die situation at fourth and 7 from the Miami 10. A Miami offsides brought the ball down to the 5.

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            One play left and the Patriots called Eric Bjornson's number – a play designed for Bledsoe to lob the ball into the right corner of the end zone and let the tight end use his height to bring it down. Whether Bjornson was held by his defender (it looked that way) or the pass was overthrown, the ball fell harmlessly to the ground and resulted in the Patriots fourth straight loss of the season.  
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            Prior to that, the closest it looked like someone might score in the second half was when Miami got down to the New England 34. But when Lawyer Milloy popped the ball loose from Bret Emanuel and Ted Johnson recovered it, the eight-play drive was stopped.  

A huge opportunity in the second quarter for the Patriots was squandered when Kevin Faulk fumbled on the Dolphins 3-yard line. Ty Law had just intercepted Jay Fiedler for Fiedler's second interception on the day. Law made a nice return for 30 yards to the Miami 21. Once down to the Miami 6, it was the Dolphins' Brian Walker who forced the fumble out of Faulk and Zach Thomas who recovered.

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            A Miami turnover set up the Patriots first scoring drive. The Dolphins were down to the New England 17-yard line after a Fieldler to Oronde Gadsden hookup for 44 yards on third and 10. After Lamar Smith ran for no gain, Fiedler dropped back to pass and was being pressured by Bobby Hamilton. Just as Hamilton was about to wrap up the ex-Dartmouth quarterback, Fiedler flicked the ball out -- right into the hands of Henry Thomas who rumbled 16 yards to the New England 35.  

Bledsoe went to work, finding four different receivers on the drive that was capped off by a Vinatieri 40-yard field goal and a 3-0 Patriots lead.

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            Miami's first score came on a Fiedler to Bert Emanuel pass good for 52 yards. The play came from third and 4 from the Miami 47. Kato Serwanga was victimized in coverage, as he was unaware of where the ball was in the air.  

The first half scoring ended with an Olindo Mare 43-yard field goal to put the Dolphins up, 10-3.

Once again the Patriots were unable to run effectively throughout the game although Faulk ran tough at the end of the game when New England needed it most. He finished with only 46 yards on 21 carries. The Patriots were also hurt by their third down conversions which were successful only 25 percent of the time. Terry Glenn led the Patriots receivers with 5 catches for 65 yards.

New England heads out west to take on the Denver Broncos in Mile High Stadium next Sunday.

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