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Second-quarter notes: Patriots 17, Dolphins 10

12.02.12 at 2:32 pm ET
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We are at halftime in Miami, and the Patriots hold a 17-10 lead. Here are a few second-quarter notes:

‘€¢On their first drive of the second quarter, the Patriots couldn’t pick up the first down, but kept the ball thanks to the fact that Miami defensive back Jimmy Wilson drilled Patriots’ punter Zoltan Mesko in the Mesko’s on his punt attempt. New England took advantage of the roughing the kicker penalty — the Patriots drove it down and punched it in yo go up 14-3. On the drive, Wes Welker accounted for 38 of the 75 yards, including the seven-yard touchdown pass that came on a neatly executed slip screen that saw the receiver walk into the end zone. (He hasn’t been heard from all that often over the course of the first half, but receiver Brandon Lloyd delivered nice a block to spring Welker on his touchdown catch.) Welker has 10 catches for 89 yards and a touchdown in the first half.

‘€¢The Patriots came away with another takeaway in the second quarter when defensive end Trevor Scott sacked Ryan Tannehill, knocking the ball away and letting defensive lineman Vince Wilfork pick it up. New England couldn’t punch it in to the end zone, but Stephen Gostkowski rebounded from his first-quarter miss and connected for a 43-yarder to make it 17-3 with 6:53 left in the second quarter.

‘€¢The Dolphins were able to put together their best drive of the first two quarters midway through the second when Tannehill got Miami into New England territory with a nice combination of runs and passes. (They were helped by a rare 12-men-on-the-field penalty on the Patriots.) In the end, Tannehill flipped into the end zone after diving in from two yards out — on a play where Rob Ninkovich, who was in charge of containment, but hard on a play fake that allowed Tannehill to get to the outside. That put the capper on a 12-play, 80-yard drive that took 6:28. That made the score 17-10 with less than a minute to go in the half.

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