Inside Patriots' Dramatic Loss to the Dolphins: Gronk Scores a Red-Zone TD, Brady Breaks More Records - and Miami Pulls Off a 69-Yard Miracle
Posted by: Gronkowski
OK, so things didn’t pan out quite like we’d hoped on Sunday …
The Patriots' loss to the Dolphins was one of the most talked-about games among Monday Morning Quarterbacks this week (massive shout out to the L.A. Rams and Chicago Bears for taking the heat off us a bit at least) thanks to the last-second lateral play that’s already been dubbed the “Miami Miracle.”
Yeah, yeah – it was smart, baffling, totally unexpected, awe-inspiring and meant that the Dolphins won 34-33. The 69-yard touchdown drive was the NFL’s longest play from scrimmage to win a game with no time left on the clock since the 1970 merger. And no, the irony of it being 69 yards with Gronk in at safety as the final line of defense for New England was not lost on anyone.
“We’ve practiced that play a few times for the Hail Mary,” Gronk told reporters after the game. “You guys have seen it before. Just go up, get the ball. But they changed it up a little bit and I did sucky.”
But of course Ryan Tannehill didn’t throw a Hail Mary, instead he tossed the ball 14 yards to Kenny Stills, who passed it to DeVonte Parker, who flipped it to Kenyan Drake … who then sprinted all the way to the end zone.
“The way it ended, I mean, it sucked,” Gronk said. “I’ve never really been a part of anything like that. I feel like it’s going to test our character big time, how we bounce back from something like that. And, just, gotta make that tackle.”
As to why Rob was even still out there, according to ESPN, Bill Belichick told reporters: “They could throw it deep or they could have run the Desperado-type play, which is kind of an in-between 20-yard pass and then it turned into Desperado [with multiple laterals].”
Gronk was in because that is a "last play" defense. The last play can be a hail mary pass. In a situation where chances of a hail mary are low, the "jumper" (Gronk) should be substituted for another safety/DB. For tackling purposes. That was not done.— Tedy Bruschi (@TedyBruschi) December 9, 2018
So the Pats lost yet another game in Miami and are now 9-4 heading into Pittsburgh, but what about all the good performances that came before the clock literally ticked down to zero?
Gronk had his best game since Week 1 over the Houston Texans, racking up eight receptions, 107 yards and his first red zone touchdown of the season.
Tom Brady with his 3rd touchdown of the first half, he is 16 of 20 passing for 3 TDs, 0 INTs and 212 yards against the Dolphins.— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 9, 2018
This one to Gronkpic.twitter.com/VfPckXNL68
Brady had another spot-on Sunday, throwing for three touchdowns and 358 yards.
TB12 had fans catching their breath after his second-quarter TD pass to Gronk as he crumbled and grabbed his knee. But Brady told WEEI Monday morning that it was actually an equipment malfunction not a new injury. “I think my knee brace just grabbed it and it just got dug into the wrong spot,” Brady told the Mut & Callahan show. “There’s no concern.”
Even with the loss, Brady broke yet another NFL record – this one as the all-time leader in touchdown passes when he overtook Peyton Manning thanks to a TD to Julian Edelman just 46 seconds into the second quarter.
So now we’re on to Pittsburgh, and it’s time to look forward, not back. As Kyle Van Noy told ESPN’s Mike Reiss, “it's time to move on. We're ready for the Steelers. It's going to be an amazing atmosphere there, a playoff atmosphere. They need a win. We need a win. It's going to be a highly competitive game."
We'll leave it to Tedy Bruschi to have the last word ...
Conclusions on this Patriot team must not be made based on a game in Miami. Strange things happen in South Beach for some reason. The story of this team is yet to be told.— Tedy Bruschi (@TedyBruschi) December 10, 2018
Before you go...