FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – A blocked field goal prevented Miami from taking a three-point lead. An interception that gave the Patriots the decisive advance. Another missed Miami field goal.
And none of that benefited New England on Sunday night.
“The defense continued to do a great job. You just have to keep going,” said Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, who had the ball for the second straight time and had a chance to win the game in the final minute. “We have to figure it out on our end.”
The Patriots’ offense provided few highlights in a 24-17 loss to Miami that saw them fall to 0-2 for the first time since Tom Brady took over at quarterback. What’s worse, Jones failed to capitalize on the big plays on defense and special teams that kept the Patriots in the game.
“It wasn’t our day,” Jones said. “It hasn’t been our day for the last two weeks.”
A week after falling behind the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles 16-0, the Patriots trailed 17-3 late in the third quarter on Sunday night when Miami rallied for a 49-yard field goal attempt hired. New England’s Brenden Schooler sat to the far right, then sprinted along the line of scrimmage and, as the ball was snapped, pivoted into the backfield to block the kick.
Kyle Dugger grabbed the ball deep in the Dolphins backfield and only a quick tackle from Christian Wilkins stopped him from running into the end zone. Jones then drove the Patriots to two first downs before throwing a pass toward the end zone, where Xavien Howard got the receiver inside and pulled him down at the 3 for the interception.
New England punted at Miami and Jones drove New England to the Dolphins 6 before hitting Hunter Henry in the end zone to make it 17-10. But after Christian Gonzalez tackled Tua Tagovailoa, the Patriots went back and forced Bryce Baringer to punt from his own end zone.
On Miami’s first play, Raheem Mostert broke through the line untouched and scored a 43-yard touchdown.
New England had one last chance after Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders missed a 55-yard field goal attempt with a seven-point lead and just over two minutes left. Jones took the Patriots to the Miami 33 and connected with tight end Mike Gesicki on a fourth-and-4 pass.
Stopped near the line of scrimmage, Gesicki threw the ball to offensive lineman Cole Strange, who darted another four yards before being brought down right at the 30-yard line. The play was originally ruled a first down, but replay showed Strange was stopped short of the marker; The Dolphins took over on downs and knelt down to the clock.
“We just have to do a better job when it counts,” center David Andrews said. “And stop playing from behind. That’s two weeks in a row of playing from the back. It’s hard to catch up in this league. … It’s not about how you want to play the game.”
The last time the Patriots lost their first two games was in 2001 with Drew Bledsoe at quarterback – coach Bill Belichick’s second season in New England. Bledsoe was injured in the Week 2 loss to the Jets and replaced by Brady, but the Patriots won the Super Bowl that season and in two of the next three seasons.
“I feel like we’re a great team. I feel like we’ve shown great things in the last two games, really promising things,” defensive lineman Deatrich Wise said. “We just have to continue to trust the process and everything will turn around.”
Sign up for Patriots updates🏈
Get breaking news and analysis in your inbox throughout football season.