Pats @ Dolphins First Half Thoughts
As the New England Patriots head into halftime of their Week 14 game in Miami, trailing 13-10, here are some first half thoughts:
A Horrific First Quarter- The Pats had an altogether miserable first quarter of the game, offensively, as they failed to do anything on two drives. On six, first quarter plays, the team totaled just two measly yards and turned the ball over once. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who threw a pick on the team's opening drive, looked completely uncomfortable in the pocket on the two drives, going 0-4 with the interception.
Getting Back On Track- After the rough start for the New England offense, Brady and company seemed to get back on track. Over their final three drives of the first half, the team gained 133 yards. They also scored on their last two series, coming away with 10 points. While the trail at the break, the offense is slowly getting back to normal and will have the ball to start the second half, in an attempt to pull off their patented double score.
Just The 2nd Time- For only the second time all season, the Pats will enter the second half trailing. While the team is in an unfamiliar spot, they have plenty of time to finish the comeback and leave Miami with a win.
3rd Down Inefficiency- One of the top reasons for New England's first half offensive struggles is their inability to prolong drives with third down conversions. On the half, the Pats were a terrible 0-4 on third down. Of course, inefficiency like that will not bode well for the team, if it continues throughout the second half.
All Backs So Far- Without tight end Rob Gronkowski and facing a powerful front seven, the Patriot offense has been run almost exclusively through the backs so far. Over the first two quarters, running backs Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead have combined for 104 of the team's 120 total yards of offense, on 16 total touches. Burkhead also added the team's only touchdown, with a 3-yard rush in the second quarter. Pass-catching back James White also chipped in with two catches for eight yards in the first half.
Have To Give Him Time- If the Pats are really going to get things going, they will have to do a better job of giving Brady time to settle in the pocket and look for his receivers down the field. So far he's been limited in time and forced to get the ball out quickly to the backs underneath the coverage.
Defense Is Doing Ok- So far, the New England defense has looked okay. They have given up 217 total yards and allowed a late second quarter touchdown, but other than that, they've held tight and forced two field goals.