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Stephen Gostkowski: ‘Today just wasn’t my day’

12.15.13 at 6:03 pm ET
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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — It was not Stephen Gostkowski‘s finest hour.

The kicker — a bonafide Pro Bowl candidate who had been converting at a blistering 94 percent rate over the first 13 games with six field goals of 50 or more yards — missed a 48-yard field goal attempt wide left in the second half, and knocked a late kickoff out of bounds that allowed Miami excellent field position for a key fourth-quarter drive.

While the loss isn’t all on Gostkowski’s shoulders, he had no problem taking responsibility for his own shortcomings late in Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the Dolphins.

“There were many times where I felt like I put a good swing on the ball and it was a good operation today,” he said after the game. “But today just wasn’t my day, and it stinks to play terrible and lose.”

It was a good start for Gostkowski, who had an early 22-yard field goal, to go along with a 23-yarder in the second half. But the 48-yard miss ended a streak of 21 straight makes from inside 50 yards for him.

“I felt like I hit it pretty well,” he said. “The weather was blowing left to right all day, and I thought if I let it leak left a little, the ball would land where I planned it.”

Then, the botched fourth-quarter kickoff attempt set the Dolphins up very nicely — Miami started from the 40, and went 60 yards on nine plays for what would be the game-winning score.

Asked about Gostkowski’s blunder, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said the loss can’t be put on the kicker.

“We just didn’t make enough plays in any of the three phases of the game,” he said. “We could have used one, two more plays in each phase of the game.”

“It stinks to lose and have such and affect on the game,” said Gostkowski.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Stephen Gostkowski,

Bill Belichick: ‘We came up short in every area’

12.15.13 at 5:53 pm ET
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Bill Belichick is not one to call out any player or point to a single play to characterize a loss.

But there were several key moments that the Patriots can point to as the reason they came up short in a 24-20 loss to the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. And Belichick addressed all of them Sunday.

There was the dropped pass by Danny Amendola at the goal line with 25 seconds remaining that would’ve given the Patriots the AFC East title. There were the passes to Julian Edelman and Michael Hoomanawanui that likewise could’ve have capped another stunning comeback.

Defensively, there was no play that symbolized a day of missed chances than Charles Clay catching his only reception for six yards on 4th-and-5 from the Miami 45 with under three minutes left. If the defense holds, the Patriots likely run out the clock.

‘€œWe had a chance to make a play on a 4th-and-5 and we couldn’€™t make it,” Belichick said. “Just came up a little bit short on that one.’€

On special teams, there was no bigger play than usually reliable Stephen Gostkowski kicking the ball out of bounds on the kickoff after Tom Brady hit Edelman for the go-ahead touchdown. The Dolphins set up shop at their 40 and went on their game-winning drive.

‘€œWe just didn’€™t make enough plays in any of the three phases of the game to win,” Belichick said. “[We] could have used one or two more plays in each phase of the game.

‘€œWe came up short in every area,” Belichick said. “I mean nothing was really good enough. Yeah, there were some good things, but nothing was really good enough. We’€™ve just got to do a better job all the way around; offense, defense, special teams, coaching, playing, blocking, tackling, throwing, catching, everything. We’€™ve just got to do a better job. I don’€™t think any of it was bad, but it just wasn’€™t good enough. Or, if they were a little bit better’€¦however you want to look at it.’€

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, nfl

Danny Amendola on fourth-quarter pass play that came up short: ‘I’d like to have that one’

12.15.13 at 5:48 pm ET
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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Wide receiver Danny Amendola had 10 catches on 14 targets for 131 yards Sunday against the Dolphins, but it was one that got away that he’ll be beating himself up about over the next few days.

With the Patriots sitting at the Miami 19-yard line and 27 seconds left, quarterback Tom Brady targeted Amendola down the right side. With safety Michael Thomas in coverage, it appeared as if Amendola was able to maintain possession, but ultimately, the receiver couldn’t hang onto the ball. New England came up short on its next three chances, with the last attempt going as an interception from Thomas, as the Dolphins came away with a 24-20 win over New England.

“I’d like to have that one,” Amendola said after the game, a game where he tied a season-high for catches and had a season-best when it came to receiving yards.

Asked if Thomas was able to get a hand on the ball on his touchdown attempt, Amendola confessed that he wasn’t sure.

“I don’t know — I have to look at film,” he said. “But the game is on the line. I’d really like to have that one.

“We work on two-minute drill every week, and we felt like we had a good chance. We wanted to execute the plays we had practiced. It’s frustrating — it didn’t work out today.”

Amendola and Julian Edelman (13 catches, 139 yards, one touchdown) were able to form a potent combination throughout the afternoon, but they were at their best in the second half: Edelman had nine catches for 102 yards and a touchdown in the second half, while Amendola had six catches for 75 yards over the course of the second and third quarter.

“[Miami] did a good job at taking away some outside routes,” Amendola said when asked about his work with Edelman. “We tried to get in there and make some plays inside. It worked out — most of the day.”

For Amendola, it was his fifth career 10-catch game and the second of 2013. In addition, he finished with 131 receiving yards, his third 100-yard game of 2013 and the fifth 100-yard game of his NFL career.

“You’d like to start fast and get up early and roll with it toward the end, but credit to the Dolphins,” Amendola said. “They played hard today, and we’ve got to get better.”

Read More: Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, Michael Thomas,

Julian Edelman: ‘We didn’t make the plays when we had to, and Miami did’

12.15.13 at 5:07 pm ET
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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — It was a tremendous performance, but in the end, it wasn’t enough.

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman came away with 13 catches (on an amazing 19 targets) for 139 yards and a touchdown, but it was all for naught as New England suffered a shocking 24-20 loss to the Dolphins Sunday afternoon in South Florida.

Edelman, who tied a career-high for catches and set a new personal mark for receiving yards in a game, had nine catches for 102 yards in the second half, continuously helping the Patriots move the chains in several key situations. His 24-yard touchdown catch came late in the fourth quarter and gave New England a 20-17 lead with just over four minutes left.

But a series of shots at the end zone at the end of regulation ended with a Tom Brady interception, which left the Patriots with a loss, and an 10-4 mark on the season.

“You have to tip your hat to Miami — they made more plays than us,” Edelman said. “They executed their plays and we didn’t execute ours.”

It was particularly deflating because the Patriots had been able to executed fairly consistently with the game on the line for the bulk of the season. It was the 11th New England game of the year that was decided by seven points or less.

“We got out there every drive expecting to execute in that situation, and we weren’t able to do that today,” Edelman said. “We’re going to go back and watch this film and fix what we have to. Take the good from the good, the bad from the bad, and all the in between and prepare for the Baltimore Ravens.

“Everyone is good in this league — Miami, you have to tip your hats to them. They played some good football, and they made more plays than us today.”

With the Patriots missing rookie receivers Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson — and Rob Gronkowski on the sidelines for the rest of the season — Brady was able to rely heavily on the Edelman/Danny Amendola combination. Amendola chipped in with 10 catches on 14 targets for 131 yards, as the duo was able to find plenty of room over the middle on a consistent basis down the stretch.

“We didn’t find enough,” lamented Edelman. “We didn’t make the plays when we had to, and Miami did.”

Read More: Aaron Dobson, Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, Kenbrell Thompkins

Tom Brady ticked off after losing heartbreaker in Miami

12.15.13 at 4:44 pm ET
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It was short and not so sweet for Tom Brady in his press conference following Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium.

Asked about the final drive and the three chances at the end zone from the 19-yard line, Brady didn’t hold back.

“We had plenty of chances all day. We make some good plays and then we make plenty of [expletive] plays,” Brady said before walking off the podium to catch the team bus for the flight back to Boston.

Brady was asked about the team’s offensive failures in the red area, which were highlighted on the final drive. Danny Amendola couldn’t hold on to a pass at the goal line. Julian Edelman had a pass broken up and Michael Hoomanawanui had a ball knocked away in the end zone.

“We didn’t do a good job getting into the red area and we didn’t do a good job finishing drives. So, you know, turns out you come up on the short end of the stick,” Bradys aid. “Just wasn’t a good day. Just couldn’t make enough plays when we had a chance to.”

The best chance might have been when the Patriots had the ball first-and-10 from the Miami 19 with 27 seconds remaining. Brady lofted a perfect pass that Amendola appeared to have in his hands at the goal line. But corner back Michael Thomas, signed off San Francisco’s practice squad just last week by Miami, hit Amendola, who dropped the pass just as it appeared he was hauling it in.

“I’d like to have that one. I have to look at film. Game is on the line and I’d really like to have that one,” Amendola said.

Read More: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, nfl, Tom Brady

Snap Judgments: Patriots’ last-minute comeback falls short as Dolphins upset New England

12.15.13 at 4:00 pm ET
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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — It wouldn’t be a 2013 Patriots game without a crazy finish.

Miami’s Ryan Tannehill engineered a nine-play, 60-yard drive late in the fourth quarter, while a Tom Brady drive in the final minute-plus fell just short as the Dolphins came away with the 24-20 win Sunday afternoon at SunLife Stadium — the 11th time in 14 games this year a Patriots game has been decided by seven points or less.

New England burst to a 10-0 lead late in the second, but Miami answered with 17 straight points between the end of the second and start of the fourth quarter to push out to a 17-10 lead. That’s when the late fireworks started: New England got a fourth-quarter field goal from Stephen Gostkowski to cut the lead to 17-13, and took the lead when Brady hit Julian Edelman with a 24-yarder over the middle with 4:14 left to make it 20-17.

However, Miami retook the lead with 1:15 left when Tannehill hit Marcus Thigpen on a 14-yard pass play to make it 24-20. That set the stage for a final frantic drive from Brady and the Patriots, which saw them make it all the way down to the Dolphins’ red zone, only to stall out when Brady was picked off in the end zone by Miami linebacker Michael Thomas.

Brady ended up going 34-for-55 for 364 yards with two touchdowns and one pick, while Edelman ended up with 13 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown and Danny Amendola finished with 10 catches for 131 yards.

Meanwhile, Tannehill ended up 25-for-37 for 312 yards and three touchdowns.

The Patriots dropped to 10-4 on the year, while the Dolphins moved to 8-6. The loss denied New England a chance to clinch the AFC East title.

Here are a few quick notes on the game:

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Inactive analysis: Patriots head into matchup against Dolphins with three defensive ends

12.15.13 at 11:39 am ET
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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The following Patriots were announced as inactive for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins: offensive lineman Chris Barker; linebacker Steve Beauharnais; wide receivers Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins; defensive ends Jake Bequette and Michael Buchanan and tight end D.J. Williams.

Here’s what the moves mean today, and who will be affected.

Buchanan: Probably the biggest inactive of the day, the rookie defensive end out of Illinois started the year strong but has slipped as of late. One interesting thing — with Buchanan and Bequette out, the Patriots just have three defensive ends for Sunday’s game in Rob Ninkovich, Chandler Jones and Andre Carter. It could be a sign the Patriots might be going more 3-4 on the afternoon.

Barker: The rookie has been inactive for most of the season — he’s been active for just three games to this point in the season.

Williams: The tight end was a recent pickup, and as a result, it’s not a big surprise he’s inactive. Williams being downgraded was one of the factors in the Patriots deciding to go with four running backs on the afternoon — it will be interesting to see how the skill position players are deployed.

Dobson: The rookie receiver out of Marshall was downgraded on Saturday because of a foot injury that has slowed him the last few weeks.

Thompkins: Like Dobson, he was downgraded on Saturday. The rookie has been dealing with a hip problem. With Dobson and Thompkins out, expect plenty of work for the rest of the receivers, a group that includes Austin Collie, Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman and Josh Boyce.

Beauharnais: Another healthy scratch for the rookie out of Rutgers, who has been down most of the season because of personnel decisions.

Bequette: The second-year defensive end out of Arkansas has been inactive for most of the season, as he’s dropped behind Andre Carter (as well as Buchanan) on the depth chart.

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