Best and Worst: Patriots vs. Dolphins

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Best and Worst: Patriots vs. Dolphins

WORST WAY TO INSPIRE FAITH IN THE FANS

Oh, Devin McCourty. Miami's first series on the game wasn't really going anywhere until McCourty got burned on third-and-9. Brian Hartline burned the Patriots defensive back by making him bite on an out-and-up along the sideline. The gain? 39 yards. The obvious issue? It was not unlike a third-and-8 play McCourty got schooled on last week in Denver. Things aren't getting better.

WORST PREGAME NEWS

Matt Light, who's been a stalwart at left tackle this season, came up lame in pregame. That meant the Patriots had to shuffle. Logan Mankins started at left tackle instead of left guard and Donald Thomas started at left guard.

WORST UPDATE TO PREGAME NEWS

On the Patriots first offensive series, a miscommunication on the left between Mankins and running back Danny Woodhead resulted in a sack on third-and-8.

WORST UPDATE TO THAT UPDATE

Mankins began hobbling. Then Nate Solder, summoned from his right tackle spot to play left tackle, yielded a sack to Jason Taylor. Meanwhile, Marcus Cannon had entered the game at right tackle. And Tom Brady had started the game 2 of 9.

WORST DEFENSE... GETS WORSE

The Patriots were slapped with TWO defensive pass interference penalties on one drive. Devin McCourty was whistled for the first, after he put his hands on Brian Hartline. Two things to note: the down was third-and-12 and Hartline would have had to use a jetpack to catch the pass. (Another) stupid play by McCourty. The second was on linebacker Rob Ninkovich, who manhandled Matt Moore on a running back throwback play. Another blatant penalty on an uncatchable ball. ANOTHER stupid play. (US Presswire)

BEST WAY TO DISTRACT PATRIOTS FANS FROM THE SCOREBOARD

Rob Gronkowski set a new franchise record on Saturday. His first 43 receiving yards put him at 1,184 for the season, and pushed him past Ben Coates (1,174) for single-season yardage amassed by a tight end. Impressive! Did you forget Miami was winning 17-0 at the time? No? I tried.

BEST WAY FOR THE PATRIOTS TO GET IN THE GAME

Hope the Dolphins keep taking themselves out of it. Matt Moore's decision to throw deep left to Will Yeatman (Will Yeatman!) on second-and-8 was dumb. New England's secondary didn't even have to worry about making a play on the ball because the throw was off. Immediately after that, Moore fumbled at the line of scrimmage and Vince Wilfork recovered for the Patriots. Presents!

BEST TESTAMENT TO HALFTIME ADJUSTMENTS

If a team could be collectively bipolar, your New England Patriots could have gotten an affirmative diagnosis Saturday afternoon. After entering the half down 17-0 the Pats returned 17 unanswered. Brady and Welker started connecting after starting just 5-for-12, the running game picked up some yards, and the defense played defense. Bill Belichick surely had words during the break -- none suitable for print.

BEST CASE FOR REDEMPTION?

Remember how we started out with McCourty looking awful? And then the second half began and things got all backwards and inside out for the Patriots -- in a good way? Throw McCourty back in there, too. He got his hands on his first interception of the season on a first-and-10 bomb hurled by Matt Moore. The relief he felt to finally pick off a pass -- after having 7 in his 2010 Pro Bowl season -- was evident in his heated celebration.

Patriots bolster receiver depth by adding Brown to practice squad

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Patriots bolster receiver depth by adding Brown to practice squad

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have added some receiver depth to their locker room by signing Da'Ron Brown to their practice squad. 

Brown, 25, was a seventh-round pick of the Chiefs in 2015 and spent his rookie season on the Kansas City practice squad. At Northern Illinois, the 6-foot, 199-pounder caught 155 passes in four years, accumulating 2,295 yards and scoring 19 touchdowns. He also rushed for two scores in his career. As a senior in 2014, he caught 68 passes for 1,065 yards. 

With the signing, the Patriots have filled out their practice squad. The team has had an opening on its 10-man unit since the Colts signed away receiver Devin Street for their 53-man roster.

With just four receivers on the Patriots roster, not including special teams ace Matthew Slater, they've loaded up on receiver depth through their practice squad with Brown, Devin Lucien and DeAndrew White.

Tuesday, Sept. 27: Jumbo Joe energizes Team Canada

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Tuesday, Sept. 27: Jumbo Joe energizes Team Canada

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while wondering exactly what “semi-exact” means.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Josh Cooper has a piece on Jumbo Joe Thornton bringing an ageless energy to Team Canada.

*If you’re wondering where former B’s farmhand goaltender Jeremy Smith ended up, he’s now with the Colorado Avalanche.

*The Hockey News believes that the Bruins will be back in the playoffs this season after a two-year absence.

*While I appreciate the Hockey News linking to my work, I feel like it’s a key piece of info that I’m the Bruins Insider for CSN New England and not NESN.

*Is Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger the man with the plan to defeat a Team Canada juggernaut in the World Cup of Hockey.

*Dustin Byfuglien had an interesting take on the World Cup after flaming out with Team USA: “It is what it is. I didn’t really enjoy it.”

*For something completely different: this is not your father’s Converse, but it’s a sleek look that the kids are gonna love.