Patriots move to 7-0 for second time in franchise history with win vs. Dolphins
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Tom Brady slammed the ball after taking a sack, got up and threw a touchdown pass on the next play to finish off another stellar performance.
Even when they look sluggish, Brady and the New England Patriots still dominate.
Brady threw for 356 yards and four touchdowns — two to Julian Edelman — and the Patriots beat the Miami Dolphins 36-7 on Thursday night to become the first of the NFL’s five unbeaten teams to reach seven wins.
Stephen Gostkowski broke Adam Vinatieri’s franchise record for consecutive field goals by connecting from 52 and 36 yards to make it 26 in a row. Rob Gronkowski had 113 yards receiving and a touchdown, and Dion Lewis had 93 yards receiving and one score.
"I made a bad read and I shouldn’t have taken a sack there," Brady said about his angry response to the fourth-quarter sack.
He was smiling afterward while backup Jimmy Garoppolo took the final snaps to seal the lopsided win.
The loss was the first for Miami (3-4) under interim coach Dan Campbell. The Dolphins scored 82 points in wins over the lowly Titans and Texans in Campbell’s first two games after replacing Joe Philbin. But they were completely overmatched against the defending Super Bowl champions.
"You have to play good football in all three phases when you play the New England Patriots. They’ve always been that way," Campbell said.
It could be an even bigger loss for the Dolphins because four-time Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake was carted off the field with an Achilles tendon injury. Campbell didn’t have an update on the extent of the injury.
The Patriots are 7-0 for the second time in franchise history and first time since going 16-0 in 2007. They’ve scored at least 28 points in every game and 30 or more in six straight.
A week after setting an NFL record with 25 straight completions, Ryan Tannehill had a rough night against New England. He threw two interceptions and no TDs.
"We just couldn’t get going," Tannehill said.
Brady connected with Gronkowski for a 47-yard scoring pass on the opening drive, but the Patriots managed a total of 65 yards on their next five possessions.
"We were doing things we don’t typically do," Brady said.
They went up 9-0 on a safety after center Mike Pouncey snapped the ball before Tannehill was ready on a third down from the 9.
Then Brady got going in the 2-minute offense. He completed all four of his passes for 59 yards on a scoring drive that was capped by a 16-yard toss to Lewis for a 19-0 lead.
Tannehill led the Dolphins into the end zone to start the second half with Lamar Miller scoring on a 1-yard run.
But the Patriots took control in the fourth quarter. Brady threw TD passes of 10 and 16 yards to Edelman.
"We dug ourselves in some holes with stupid penalties," Edelman said. "It’s one of those things where we were digging ourselves in a hole and our defense was playing well."
Patriots owner Robert Kraft got a huge roar from the crowd when he took a verbal shot at the Colts during a speech honoring Willie McGinest on Thursday night.
"There’s nothing more satisfying than saddling the Indianapolis Colts with a loss, something the Patriots did 16 times in Willie McGinest’s career," Kraft said after the two-time Pro Bowl linebacker was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame at halftime.
The rivalry between the Patriots and Colts intensified because of the "Deflategate" scandal, which began when Indianapolis reported New England was using underinflated balls during the AFC championship game last January.
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NOTES: Brady set an NFL record with his 19th game with four TDs and no picks. Drew Brees and Peyton Manning have 18. … Brady is 9-0 on Thursdays. … Gronkowski had his 19th career 100-yard game, tying Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe for sixth-most among NFL tight ends. … Dolphins K Andrew Franks was short and wide on a 63-yard FG attempt at the end of the first half. … Gostkowski extended his NFL-record consecutive extra points streak to 439. … Dolphins RT Ja’Wuan James left in the first quarter with a toe injury and didn’t return.