MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The New England Patriots’ house of horrors has never been more terrifying.
Ahead by five with seven seconds left, New England lost 34-33 at Miami on a miraculous touchdown by Kenyan Drake, the ball carrier on the second of two Dolphin laterals during a 69-yard pass that capped a wild win at Hard Rock Stadium.
Ryan Tannehill completed a 14-yard throw to Kenny Stills, who lateraled to Devante Parker. Parker slipped a tackle and pitched to Drake, who covered half a field weaving around Patriots and then by Rob Gronkowski and into the end zone with a stream of teammates behind him.
“That’s the stuff that dreams are made of,” Drake told CBS immediately after the game. “I’m still in shock right now.”
The Patriots had kicked a 22-yard field goal with 16 seconds left to cushion their lead. Gostkowski gave them a lead earlier in the fourth quarter on a 34-yarder. There were nine lead changes in all, none more memorable than the last.
New England (9-4) failed to clinch the AFC East title, but remains two games ahead of Miami in the standings. The only constants early were an outstanding performance from Tom Brady (27 of 43 for 358 yards and three touchdowns) and leaky run defense from the Patriots. The Dolphins set a season high with 189 rushing yards, including two touchdowns from former Patriot Brandon Bolden.
The game also featured one blocked punt and another one tipped, both courtesy of New England linebacker Albert McClellan.
Taking the ball to start, Brady steered a run-heavy, 12-play drive into the end zone, where James Develin leapt in from two yards out. Miami answered immediately, flying down in five plays and scoring on a seven-yard pass from Tannehill to Kenny Stills.
New England next exploited an trade of punts by blocking the Dolphins’ kick and regaining possession at their 18-yard line.
Brady found Edelman three times on the new series, their last connection a two-yard touchdown early in the second quarter. But again, Miami showed the Patriots they didn’t need lengthy, surgical drives to score. Bolden blazed 54 yards past his old teammates for a go-ahead touchdown.
Bolden ran to another score on the Dolphins’ next possession, this time erasing a 37-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Cordarrelle Patterson. Two plays earlier, Brady had gotten away with a near interception, before rifling a third-and-10 completion to Edelman and then hitting Patterson in stride down the seam.
Trailing 27-21 late in the third quarter, Miami fired up Frank Gore again and rode him 40 yard downfield. Tannehill took over from there, lofting a 23-yard touchdown pass to Brice Butler over the middle.
The Dolphins carried a lead into the fourth quarter, where the Patriots scored for the first time in almost two full quarters and retook the lead until their unforgettable demise.
Drake had been helped off the field earlier in the game, but he had enough to run past Gronkowski as the final defender. The Patriots had their big tight end on the field to guard against an expected Hail Mary.
“To tell you the truth, I just kind of blacked out,” Drake said in explaining how he negotiated the minefield of Patriots to score.
With reports from MassLive.com and
Alabama Media Group.