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Game Recap: Patriots 38, Dolphins 24
By on September 12, 2011 at 10:41 pm

The Miami Dolphins opened the 2011 season with a 38-24 loss to the New England Patriots on Monday night in a game that featured the most combined passing yards in NFL history (906). Seriously. Tom Brady and the New England offense gashed the Dolphin defense all night long, as he finished with 517 yards on 32-of-48 passing, with four touchdowns and an interception.

Way back at the beginning of the night, the Fins struck first, as Chad Henne tallied his second career rushing touchdown on the opening drive of the season and Miami was in it at the half, trailing 14-7.

The start of the third quarter also started with a bang for the Dolphins, as Jared Odrick intercepted a tipped (by Benny Sapp) Brady pass and returned it 40 yards to set the Fins up inside the New England 10-yard line. A couple of plays later, Henne connected with Brian Hartline for a 10-yard touchdown that tied the game at 14.

The rest of the second half didn’t go so well, though, as Brady really poured it on, and even tied an NFL record with a 99-yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker one play after the Dolphins misfired on 4th and goal at the New England 1-yard line.

Overall, Henne had a more than respectable night for Miami, completing 30-of-49 passes for 416 yards and two touchdowns, but on this night, the Fins just didn’t have the firepower or defensive wherewithal to hang with the Patriots, who appear to be picking up right where they left off last regular season.

A discouraging loss, Miami has now dropped 10 of their last 11 at Sun Life Stadium as they now try and use the short week to regroup and get ready for another talented offensive team, the Houston Texans, Sunday at Sun Life Stadium.


Please Note:
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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chadhenneleadus2011 says:

i dont get how ppl still blame henne around here. he scorched the pats defense for 416 yards. the redzone pass aint really what lost us the game. The defense was pathetic we need will allen back like right now, btw henne was the only reason why we were even still in the game. wait isnt this the same ppl that wanted orton this year(glad we didnt get him)? get real its 1 game

ryan2049 says:

A lot of people are saying that the D was out of shape, but they also don’t mention that Brady ran a no-huddle offense almost the entire night. There was no breaks. It’s hard for any athlete to do that.

With that being said. A good showing from the Dolphins offense. I was happy for the most part.

A few things to note:
Henne wasting two timeouts on the first drive is not good.
Passing to the outside on the half yard line was a bad decision and ruined the game for the Dolphins. Henne really needs to work on those passes cause he launched it way over the receiver. I would have rather seen the ball given to Larry Johnson and see if he could get through the line.
Paul Soliai used as a fullback was a great idea. However, that dude needs to pick a spot and just keep going. He got to the line and hesitated. He needs to just plow into anything that’s there.
WTF Benny Sapp? You got burned by a Gronkowski on a crossing route?
WTF Nolan Carrol? You have got to turn around and look for the ball.
WTF D-Line? You have got to get some movement and get pressure on the QB. Yes, I’m talking to you Langford. I saw you fall over and lay there.

I still have a positive outlook on the season. Not every team is going to run a no huddle with a great QB with some good young TEs.

Keep your head up Dolphins fans!

octo84 says:

I agree.
We lack depth in the DB position, Brady and Belichick new that and basically lined up 4+ WRs and basically looked for Nolan Caroll and Benny Sapp on defense and threw it there, no matter who the WR/TE was.
They were looking for that to the point that Brady saw Sean Smith limping, hurried up, threw the ball to Hernandez covered by a cramped-up Smith who could not run with him which resulted on first and goal on the one yard line.
We need more depth on that secondary if we want to have a CHANCE against NE on december.
Meanwhile I totally agree, not every team is gonna play no-huddle, AND not every team can lineup in 4 and 5 WR sets all game long. If Henne keeps this up and improves his goal-line passing abilities we have a good chance at a decent record this year….don’t know if enough to make the playoffs cause that means winning 10-11 games to have a chance, but it is still a good improvement from last year…..and we can definitely BEAT the jets!!!! Go Dolphins!!!

ryan2049 says:

Brady hit TEs all game long. With the exception of a couple to Welker and Ochocinco, it’s not like we were getting beat by WRs. We were getting beat by TEs. Slater burned Davis on that first pass, but the safety was also nowhere in sight. I would have liked to see Jimmy Wilson given a shot to play.

joezfins says:

go DOLPHINS! Things look good for the up coming season. I thought our offense looked good for our first game. I have to say….even though it hurts…..Henne took care of business!! no one mentioned he had the second highest passing yards this week. he did a great job trying to keep up, if it were not for that one pass of Brady;s they would have been tied!! gOOD jOB!! A TWEAK HERE AND THERE WE SHOULD BE FINE!!

rcarrillo170 says:

why does it hurts to say Henne did well? The Henne hating was always an over-reaction

rcarrillo170 says:

I understand that everyone wants to win every game and wants to win the superbowl already, but can we give some credit to the Patriots?? The defense was nowhere near acceptable but lets also remember who they played. All around the league defenses that were supposed to be great were outplayed by opposing offenses.

Malbe says:

Secondary needs work, offense looks promising. In general team looked poorly conditioned and coached.

Brice says:

WILL ALLEN!!! I have no idea why the phins thought it would be best to let him go! And I about fell over when I saw that we let Polite go……. I mean we get a RB that we know isn’t that best between the tackles and we just go ahead and let our FB go like we don’t need one? At the end of last season I hated Henne…… and I still do BUT if he keeps this up I mite come around a little. but we’ll see

Paulmatthew22 says:

I alway knew Henne was hampered by Hennings offensive scheme last yr,..He is a top 10 qb by end of the yr,..He has really good physical skills and he is much quicker than he used to be,.Obviously on a good diet

squall says:

Hi to everybody. I saw the best performance of our fins tonight. However I ask only one thing to coach Sparano: Please, change Benny Sapp, he was burned 3 times for three TD for Patriots.

Aaron says:

I think the most disappointing thing to watch tonight were our two self proclaimed best corner duo in the league. Just cuz Crowder left doesn’t mean someone had to pick up the trash talk. And we couldn’t cover a TE to save our lives. Call up Will Allen and find a pair of atheletic guards and maybe we can get somewhere. I have a an orange construction cone that we could use next Sunday and give Incognito a rest. Glad to see Henne might be the answer.

obiwankanobe says:

I knew this whole offseason that we needed depth in the secondary, and this is the area that killed us today. Why did we let go of Vet Will Allen????? Alot better then Nolan Carrol ill tell you that. Our defense definitly needs more conditioning. Offensively i was satisfied, just a little more big plays as well as consistensy and were dynamic. Sefondary NEEDS some ATTENTION!(DEPTH) vontae davis injury screwed us as well as sean smith pulled hammy…. Fmon fins we need to rebound! Chad henne i knew you had it in you but my heart stopped when you almost threw that pick in the endzone. Full back must be addressed as well we need Polite back or someone at least! Daniel thomas was def missed.

dolphinsrock11 says:

NOLAN CARROL STUNK TONIGHT :(

octo84 says:

What really bothered me is that he was acting like he was giving up on some plays….that’s just unacceptable!!!

marchcool says:

After letting go two elite (at least one: R.Williams) RB, after hiring another two, after letting go a great FB capable of running one yard without trouble (I’m talking of L.Polite) and so on, the only team capable of no making a touchdown in yard 1 and then allowing an almost 100 pathetic yard pass the play after are the Dolphins. Yes, no other team in NFL would be capable of that, not even the Panthers.
This is not the players fault… well a little bit maybe, it is the STAFF’s. It is pathetic, terrible what we saw today. Lack of guts from the staff. Two times inside yard 5… what a lack of imagination. Where was Larry Johnson ? Why the staff let go A.J. Edds ?
I’m tire of watching this staff: Ireland go away. Sparano, sorry man, this team is not for you.
Ross, can’t you call Shula for a serious advice ? Damm it

paradave24 says:

Calm down Marchcool. We lost but our offense showed greatness too. Our biggest question this season was out offense. We wanted it to be more explosive and high scoring. We may not of scored enough but it did show we can score in big plays. We drived the ball down the field with a lot of control and we put points on the board. Wasn’t that what we needed to see to have faith in this season?

Our Defense failed us this week. It got manhandled. But are you going to start saying our defense is now one of the worst in the league? No, we know its not. The Patriots are just really good about scoring against any team. Now if it starts being a repetitive thing week after week, then we should start to worry. But we know we have a good defense and the secondary will probably rebound against a pretty good Texans passing game.g

But if you still feel you need to downgrade the dolphins, then you need to go root for another team cause we don’t need you. Have faith in this team or shut your mouth.

miadlphns54 says:

I agree. The offense looked better than it has in a long while. Congrats to Henne for a strong game. Keep it up and silence all the doubters. The defense looked tired and confused at times. Then it showed flashes of the dynamic D that it was last year. Even though it was a loss it was a good game and showed that the Dolphins have a lot of potential. One negative note: with the exception of one play, what the heck was Benny Sapp doing out there tonight? Anyhow, good showing from the offense! And defense, step it up! We know you can! Phins up! Come on Houston.

octo84 says:

Ditto
Its really nice to finally see what Henne can do. Hope he continues this pace and getting better.
A thing I always say he has to get better, is redzone passing. Dont know if he is afraid to throw a pick or bad play-calling or what, but it’s an aspect he needs to improve.
Disappointed on the front four…I expected Brady on the floor more. DBs….well we definetly dont have the depth to play the Pats right now, hope they can improve that. Brady basically threw the ball to the WR that was covered by Benny Sapp or Nolan Caroll all night.
I’m excited to see what this team is capable of doing this year!!! Phins up!!!