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December 02, 2012

G12: New England 23, Dolphins 16 (Final): Measuring-stick game finds Pats still in charge

[1) It is SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2. Find our post celebrating Nick Satan vs. The Evil Leprechaun in the blogpost directly below this. 2) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: Watch for latest poll today starting at 4:45 p.m. sharp!: 

Watch for the latest DSM in a separate blogpost beginning today at 4:45 p.m.

G12: NEW ENGLAND @ DOLPHINS: Final: An eminently winnable game that Miami simply could not find a way to win. Tom Brady off his game but Dolphins could  not capitalize. Miami sinks to 5-7. Time to stop even pretending playoffs are still in play. 4Q: Onside kick fails. ... Dolphins' 42-yard FG with 31 seconds left makes it 23-16, sets up desperation onside-kick. Bettors who had Miami covering are thrilled. ... Pats add 20-yard FG for 23-13 lead with 1:10 to play. Game time. ... MIA within 20-13 on 33-yard FG with 8:35 left. Team converted a 4th and 1 but had to settle after Tannehill sacked on 3rd down. ... Pats up 20-10 with 13M left after 32-yard FG. Had 1st and goal at 2 but settled. ... This game is begging to be won. But can Miami win it? ..... 3Q: Cautious MIA eschews gamble, punts on 4th and 1 from Pats' 49. Go for it there! ... Cameron Wake drops Brady hard; sack knocks Pats out of FG range, forces punt. ... Questionable pass-interference call against Karlos Dansby; pass did not appear to be catchable. ..... Half: sloppy, offensively erratic, even game so far. Difference is that early muffed punt that gifted Pats with an easy score. Neither Brady nor Tannehill playing particularly well. A Dolfan might take heart in Miami very much being in this game, or perhaps be discouraged that Pats are ahead despite not playing very well and having only 10 yards rushing. ..... 2Q: Tannehill 2-yard TD run 25 seconds before halftime caps 80-yard drive, moves MIA within 17-10. ... Ryan Tannehill loses fumble at own 25 on close call that might have been ruled a forward pass, but wasn't. Leads to 43-yard Pats FG and 17-3 lead. ... Dolphins stuck on two 1st downs. A little offense, please? ... Wes Welker reaches e-zone on a 7-yard screen pass from Tom Brady for a 14-3 Pats lead. ... Reshad Jones pass-interference; mistakes hurting Miami. ... Brady (9-for-17) having an off-day. Miami needs to take advantage. ... Roughing-punter penalty against Jimmy Wilson gives Pats new life. Dumb mistake. ..... 1Q: Jones INT leads to 44-yard FG by Dan Carpenter and 7-3 score with one second left in opening quarter. ... Jake Long tricep injury; return questionable. ... Richie Incognito recovers Miami fumble by Daniel Thomas. ... Reshad Jones return INT for apparent TD but offsetting penalties give Miami possession at NE 34. Only fourth pick by Tom Brady all season. ... Dolphins down punt at 3, best thing MIA has done all day so far. ... Miami's first 1st down comes with 6:03 left in 1Q. ... Patriots wide-right on 49-yard FG try. NE fans and Dolfans dueling for decibels and ownership of crowd. ... Dolphins muffed punt gives Pats 1st down at Miami 12, leads to Stevan Ridley 2-yard TD run and 7-0 Pats lead. Punt snap was low but looked like Brandon Fields should have handled it. ... Tom Brady inactive! Just kidding. Wanted to see if you were paying attention. ... Intermittent rain and lots of Pats fans at Joe's Place. ..... Original post: Here comes The Measuring Stick. The New England Patriots have been 1aa1dolpats2that for the Dolphins in the AFC East seemingly forever -- well, in the thriving Bill Belichick/Tom Brady era, at least. And the Pats continue to be that and will continue to be that until the Dolphins prove otherwise. A home win today would be a start. There would be symbolism involved, because it's the first time rookie QB Ryan Tannehill has faced his position's gold standard and Dolphin-nemesis, Mr. Brady. I give Miami a fair upset shot at home and think they'll cover the 7 1/2-point line, but just cannot see this Dolphins offense outscoring the high-powered Pats. This is The Measuring Stick, and it finds Miami short. My pick: Patriots, 30-24.

CHIEFS RIGHT TO PLAY GAME DESPITE TRAGEDY: Kansas City hosts Carolina today at 1 p.m. and the game goes on as scheduled despite Saturday's awful murder-suicide involving starting linebacker Jovan Belcher. There have been some calls for the game to be postponed but that would not be realistic or the right thing. Belcher by his actions should not have that power. I have sympathy for the demons that drove him, but, bottom line, Belcher committed a cowardly act of the lowest order when he killed his girlfriend, making an orphan of their baby daughter, before taking his own life. It is difficult to imagine how a club should honor one of its players who has just committed a murder. Not as a hero, for sure. Best to play this game and move on.

Radio, then live blog: I'll be talking Dolphins-Pats and NFL nonstop on the 790 The Ticket pregame show today starting at 10 a.m. Then I'll be right back here by kickoff with our Live Boutique Blog during the game. 

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