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Patriots vs. Dolphins: Game notes

TURNOVER TIME
The Patriots scored 17 of their 20 points off of three forced turnovers, including two interceptions and a fumble. New England scored 14 points off turnovers in their victory over Cincinnati on Oct. 1, and has totaled 31 points off of turnovers in its last two games. On Miami's third offensive play of the game, Rodney Harrison forced Miami's Ronnie Brown to fumble and Tedy Bruschi pounced on the loose ball to give the Patriots possession at the Dolphins' 37-yard line. New England capitalized on the turnover by taking a 3-0 lead on a 35-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski seven plays later. In the second quarter, Asante Samuel's interception and 26-yard return gave New England possession on the Miami 10-yard line and set up a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Troy Brown two plays later. Finally, in the fourth quarter, Samuel notched his second interception of the game, giving the Patriots possession at the Dolphins' 24-yard line and setting up Heath Evans' 1-yard touchdown run four plays later.

EVANS IN THE ZONE
Heath Evans scored his first career touchdown on a 1-yard reception from Tom Brady in the fourth quarter to give the Patriots a 20-10 lead. Evans' first career score came against his former team, having played in six games for the Miami Dolphins in 2005. Evans' first career touchdown came in his 78th career game on his 28th career reception.

BLOCK PARTYMike Wright blocked a 40-yard field goal attempt by Miami's Olindo Mare in the first quarter to preserve a 3-0 Patriots lead. The blocked field goal was the first by the Patriots in the regular season in nearly three years, dating back to when Richard Seymour blocked a field goal attempt by Mare at Miami on Oct. 19, 2003. That block in 2003 also marked the last time that Mare had a field goal blocked. Including playoff games, Wright's block was the first for New England since Seymour swatted down a 31-yard attempt by Tennessee's Gary Anderson in a 2003 divisional playoff game on Jan. 10, 2004.

GREEN GIANT
Jarvis Green sacked Joey Harrington for an 11-yard loss in the fourth quarter. Green leads the team with 4.5 sacks this season, and his 4.5 sacks set a new single-season career high, besting his mark of 4.0 sacks in 2004. Against Cincinnati on Oct. 1, Green recorded a career-high 3.0 sacks, including a strip-sack of Carson Palmer, and was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts.

LONG DRIVE
New England used a 15-play drive that took 8:12 of clock time to take a 6-0 lead on a 31-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski. The drive was the Patriots' second longest drive of the season in terms of number of plays and time elapsed. The only drive that was longer was a 16-play drive that took 8:15 of clock time in the fourth quarter of a 24-17 win over the New York Jets on Sept. 17.

TWO PICKS FOR SAMUEL
Asante Samuel had a career-high two interceptions, becoming the first Patriots player to record two interceptions in a single game since Eugene Wilson picked off a pair of passes at Arizona on Sept. 19, 2004. Both of Samuel's interceptions gave New England great field position and set up Patriots touchdowns as New England totaled 14 points off of Samuel's forced turnovers. Samuel's first interception came when he picked off a Joey Harrington pass at the Miami 36-yard line in the second quarter and returned it 26 yards to the Dolphins' 10-yard line. New England took advantage of the turnover with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Troy Brown two plays later to give the Patriots a 13-0 lead. Samuel's second pick came in the fourth quarter, when he grabbed a tipped ball at the Miami 26-yard line and returned it to the Dolphins' 24-yard line, setting up a 1-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Heath Evans four plays later. The two picks give Samuel eight career regular-season interceptions. He also has two interceptions in his playoff career. In 2005, Samuel tied for the team lead with a career-high three interceptions.

TOUCHDOWN TROY
Troy Brown caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady in the second quarter to give the Patriots a 13-0 lead. The touchdown was Brown's second touchdown reception this season, his 29th career scoring reception and his 32nd overall touchdown (including three career punts returned for touchdowns). His 29 career touchdown receptions rank sixth on the Patriots all-time list of scoring catches. With his 29th career scoring grab, Brown passed Russ Francis (28) to claim sole possession of sixth place on the list.

QUICK HITS

  • The Patriots improved their all-time record at Gillette Stadium to 32-7 (.821) including regular season and playoff games.
  • Tom Brady improved his record to 28-6 (.824) against AFC East teams.
  • The Patriots held a 13-10 lead at halftime, and improved to 53-2 in games where they have led at the half with Tom Brady as the starter (including an 8-0 playoff record in such games).
  • The Patriots held a 13-10 lead doing into the third quarter and improved to 58-1 in games where they have led after three quarters with Tom Brady as the starter (including a 7-0 playoff record in such games).
  • Today's game was the 131st consecutive home sellout for the Patriots. The record includes every regular-season, preseason and playoff game since the 1994 regular-season opener, which was Robert Kraft's first regular-season game as owner of the Patriots.
  • Rookie wide receiver Chad Jackson started his first career game.
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