By: Ian Logue
Chalk this up as one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever read.
Heading into the final minutes of the Patriots 23-16 win over the Dolphins on Sunday (please note – this was a 7 point victory, not a 30+ blowout win by Bill Belichick’s football team) apparently the Miami players felt disrespected by the way New England closed out the game.
The Patriots put together a back-breaking 7:18 drive that kept the ball out of the Dolphins hands from the 8:28 mark until just over a minute to go in the game.
Apparently the success Stevan Ridley had in the fourth quarter against the Dolphins didn’t sit well with Miami’s players. (FILE:USPresswire)
They ran 16 plays, 13 of which were runs against a Dolphins team that simply wasn’t able to stop them. The Patriots found a chink in the armor and exploited it, and kept going after them. After holding Stevan Ridley and New England’s ground game to under 3 yards per carry the Patriots finally had success, with Ridley accounting for 3 of the 6 first downs they had on that possession.
For the Dolphins, it was up to them to stop them and force a punt or a turnover to have a chance to beat them. They didn’t do it, and now members of the Dolphins defense are upset that after finding a weakness, New England kept attacking it.
“It was very disappointing,” linebacker Karlos Dansby told the Palm Beach Post. “Instead of getting two yards they were getting four, and instead of us getting off the field they were getting first downs.”
Six of the 13 carries were run over left guard, 5 of which were for gains with Ridley carrying 4 times for 19-yards (4.8 avg). Vereen carried once for 8-yards. The final rush was the one-yard loss by Tom Brady in which the quarterback simply fell down to give kicker Stephen Gostkowski a better angle to hit the 20 yard field goal that put them, at the time, back up by 10 with 1:15 left to go in the game.
Dansby apparently didn’t like the fact the Patriots kept running at him.
“It really (ticked) me off,” he told the newspaper. “It was disrespectful to us to run the same play over and over and be successful.
“Normally when somebody’s driving down the field you just think, ‘Well, they just had a good run there,’ but you run the same play over and over, as a competitor that (ticks) me off.”
Teammate Randy Starks didn’t like it and called it “disrespectful”, but at least admitted they should have stopped them.
“It is disrespectful,” tackle Randy Starks agreed, “but you’ve got to stop it. We never stopped it, so I’d keep running the same play, too.”
The problem with this logic is that New England wasn’t up by 30, they were up by just seven points. The mentality of any football team has to be if they finally find something that was working – which hadn’t worked the previous three quarters – it makes perfect sense to keep attacking it. That’s what they did, and the result was a field goal that ultimately put the game out of reach. Had they failed to get points, there’s no telling how that game may have turned out.
Needless to say if the Dolphins expected the Patriots to go easy on them with a seven point lead, apparently head coach Joe Philbin has some serious work to do.