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Sports

October 28, 2013

Patriots bounce back with 27-17 win over Dolphins

FOXBOROUGH — Miami defensive back Jimmy Wilson strip-sacked Tom Brady, knocking the ball loose in the backfield. All the Dolphins had to do was fall on it to take possession and stop the New England Patriots from putting the game out of reach.

Instead, Miami lineman Olivier Vernon was penalized for batting the ball forward as he reached to bring it in, giving the Patriots a key first down during an 82-yard touchdown drive that helped them clinch a 27-17 victory on Sunday.

“I was trying to make a play, but the referee made the call,” Vernon said. “It impacted a lot. The game just didn’t go our way.”

Thanks in part to an interception on New England’s second play from scrimmage, the Dolphins opened a 14-0 lead over the AFC East-leading Patriots. But New England allowed just one more field goal while scoring 24 straight points after trailing by two touchdowns early.

Miami had its chances, missing a 46-yard field goal early in the second half that could have given the Dolphins a 17-point lead. And Ryan Tannehill was intercepted on a long throw down the right sideline when Devin McCourty, unable to stay in bounds, tipped the pass back toward the field of play, and Marquice Cole managed to catch it while keeping his feet inbounds.

The Patriots went 82 yards, scoring on Stevan Ridley 3-yard touchdown run that gave them a 27-17 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

“That was a big play, but there are a lot of big plays in the game,” Tannehill said. “It was a big swing in field position — I think it was a 35-yard swing in field position right there — but we had our chances to make an opportunity and it didn’t come down to that one play.”

Trailing 17-3 after gaining just 59 yards in the opening half, the Patriots quickly turned the game around in the third quarter with two touchdowns in a span of seven plays. The Patriots (6-2) outscored the Dolphins (3-4) in the third quarter 17-0 to send Miami to its fourth consecutive loss.

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