New England Special Teams Come Up Big In Win Over Miami
October 5th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

The New England Patriots have one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL, but on Monday Night on the road against Miami, it was the defense and special teams that stole the show en route to a 41-14 route of the Dolphins.  The victory gave quarterback Tom Brady his 100th career win.

Patrick Chung blocked a punt and a field goal which was returned for a touchdown, as the Patriots tabbed two special teams touchdowns on the night.  The other came from a Brandon Tate 103-yard kick off return for a score.

Brady did not need to do much on this night, as he threw for just 153 total yards and a touchdown, while Randy Moss did not even record a reception.  It didn’t matter however, it was a team effort.

Still, New England scored their most points of the season, and are averaging 33 points per game.

It was a slow start for the Patriots, as they were down 7-6 going into the locker room at half time.

All that changed however on the opening kick in the third quarter when Tate sparked the team while the touchdown return.

“We had a tidal wave hit us,” remarked Miami head coach Tony Sparano after the game. “It was a mess. Embarrassing. These fans deserve better than this.”

The Patriots (3-1) are now 2-1 in the AFC East division.  The Dolphins (2-2) fall to 1-2 in the division, having lost to both the Jets and Patriots.

It was Chung’s punt-block which set up a score, and then his field goal block that was picked up and ran back for a touchdown.

“We practiced everything that happened — all of those blocks, and people doing their job allowed me to make a play,” Chung said after the game.

Adding to his big night, Chung returned an interception for a touchdown.

On the other side of the equation, Miami was left shell-shocked.  Quarterback Chad Henne completed 29 of 39 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw three interceptions.

“Overall it’s my fault,” Henne said. “I’ll take that one as a quarterback. I’ll put that on my shoulders.”

Miami finished with four turnovers in what turned out to be an ugly showing for a hyped Monday Night Football game.

Oddsmakers had predicted a close one, with USA Online Sportsbooks and NFL Weekly Betting Odds setting the Patriots as a one-point favorite prior to kickoff.  The game cleared the installed over/under of 48 points prior to kickoff.

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