The Patriots overcame a 17-14 deficit to score 28 second half points to claim a 42-23 victory over the Miami Dolphins in an important AFC East battle. Drew Bledsoe threw for 419 yards and three second half touchdowns – including a pair to tight end Ben Coates – while completing 30 of 41 attempts in the game. It was Bledsoe's third 400-yard game of his career and third 300-yard game of the season. Curtis Martin complimented the quarterback's three-touchdown performance with three rushing touchdowns of his own, tying a Patriots franchise record. Both Martin and Miami's Karim Abdul-Jabbar rushed for a pair of first half touchdowns.
Martin's second score came with just :04 remaining in the half. The Patriots who had suffered two turnovers in the first half., had to overcome successive turnovers on their first two possessions of the second half. Trailing 17-14, the Patriots regained the lead on their third possession of the second half, capitalizing on Miami's first of three turnovers of the game with a 23-yard scoring strike from Bledsoe to Coates to cap a 4-play, 72-yard drive. Coates, a 6-foot-5-inch, 245-pound tight end, scored his second touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter when he took a 4-yard pass in the flat from Bledsoe, eluded a tackle at the 20-yard line and raced 80 yards down the sideline for the decisive 84-yard touchdown and a 28-17 lead. It was the forth-longest reception and fifth longest play from scrimmage in franchise history. The Patriots went on to score 28-unanswered points before Miami answered with a last minute touchdown on a pass from Craig Erikson to O.J. McDuffie.