(Photo: Al Diaz/Miami Herald)
Coming into Monday night, the New England Patriots sat a half a game behind the Steelers for the top spot in the AFC, while the Miami Dolphins were a game and a half from a wild card spot. What seemed like what was going to be an easy win for the Patriots, clinching them their ninth straight AFC title, turned out to be the complete opposite. Leading for all but a couple minutes in the second quarter, the Miami Dolphins defeated the New England Patriots tonight by a score of 27-20.
Backed behind a stellar game from Jay Cutler (263 yards and three touchdowns), Kenyan Drake (193 yards from scrimmage), and Jarvis Landry (46 receiving yards and two touchdowns), the Miami Dolphins held a three-point lead at halftime, and extended that lead to 17 in the third quarter. The Patriots fought back with an early touchdown in the fourth quarter and a field goal with 53 seconds remaining to cut the lead to seven. New England attempted an onside quick to complete the comeback but failed to recover it, sealing the victory for the Dolphins.
This Dolphins win over the Patriots snapped New England’s eight game win streak, its 14-game win streak on the road, and its seven-game win streak over AFC East opponents.
With the Patriots loss, their game next week in Pittsburgh holds greater importance. New England will be entering Pittsburgh a game behind the Steelers, which will be a pivotal game in determining the top spot in the AFC come time for playoffs. For the Dolphins, they are now a game out of a wild card spot, putting them right in the thick of things with three weeks remaining in the regular season.