Patriots Lose to Dolphins on Final Play

Strange things happen to the Patriots almost every time they trek down the east coast to Hard Rock Stadium.

Sunday was no exception, when on the final play of the game, the Patriots folded in epic fashion and gave up a 69-yard touchdown pass on a catch and run from Ryan Tannehill to Kenny Stills, who lateraled the ball to Kenyan Drake who took care of the rest to leave New England stunned in a 34-33 defeat.

It's as incomprehensible a loss in the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era. New England fell to 9-4 on the season, while Miami is now 7-6.

The Patriots seemingly had the game won, when Stephen Gostkowski hit on a 22-yard field goal with 0:21 remaining to make it 33-28 New England. All the Patriots had to do was bend and not break when Miami got the ball back. 

Instead, their 10th straight AFC East title will have to wait for at least another week after a myriad of missed tackles all across the field, Drake beating "deep safety" Rob Gronkowski to complete the miracle in Miami. 

For as great as New England's offense looked in the first half, scoring 27 points, the Patriots mustered just two Gostkowski field goals in the second half. 

Brady completed each of his first 10 passes before falling a bit out of sync, still finishing 27 for 43 for a season-high 358 yards. He threw three first half touchdown passes to Julian Edelman, Cordarrelle Patterson and Gronkowski -- Gronk's TD was his first red zone catch of the season -- but a major missed opportunity at the end of the first half wound up rearing its ugly head in the final score.

With 0:08 left in the second quarter, Brady took a sack with no timeouts remaining. The Patriots were well within Gostkowski's field goal range, and perhaps even had enough time left on the clock to take another shot at the end zone.

With a minimum three points left on the board there, three more were missed on a Gostkowski 42-yard field goal that sailed wide right and another missed PAT for Gostkowski on New England's first drive of the game. 

The Patriots pass defense was horrendous throughout the game, while they weren't much better against the rush. Frank Gore, 35, had 92 yards on the ground, while former New England special teamer Brandon Bolden had a pair of touchdowns -- one from 54 yards out.

James Develin had his third rushing touchdown in the last two weeks for the Patriots.

New England is still in possession of the No. 2 seed in the AFC following the loss of the Houston Texans this afternoon, but with the Kansas City Chiefs hanging on in overtime to beat the Baltimore Ravens, the top spot and homefield advantage is as good as gone.

The Patriots travel to Pittsburgh next week to take on the Steelers in their final road game of the regular season. 

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