Curran's first-half thoughts from Pats-Dolphins

Curran's first-half thoughts from Pats-Dolphins
December 15, 2013, 2:30 pm
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MIAMI GARDENS -- A well-played first half by the Patriots had some of the shine taken off it as Miami took advantage of Kyle Arrington’s replacement Marquice Cole on a third-and-2 from the 39 with 40 seconds left in the half.
 
Wallace lined up in the slot and ran a nice slant about 8 yards deep and had a step on Cole. The ball was well thrown by Ryan Tannehill but Cole went for the tackle and strip when he probably would have been better served wrapping up. Steve Gregory, the deep safety behind the play, came up too far in support and lost the angle on Wallace who walked in.
 
A few other first-half morsels:
 
* The Patriots have an 18/13 pass/run balance so far. Danny Amendola had a productive first half with four catches for 56 yards.
 
* The Patriots did a nice job on Charles Clay, holding him without a catch in the first half. He was targeted once.
 
* The Dolphins’ pass rush has been held in check. They are generally sending just four and it seems as if both Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon are having trouble gaining traction turning the corner. It would make sense for Miami to dial up some pressure in the second half.
 
* Ryan Allen’s two punts have been big ones -- a 57-yarder from the Patriots 10 and a 40-yarder downed at the six.
 
* Just two penalties called in the first half, both on Miami.
 
* The Patriots’ first drive was outstanding except for the finish. Sixteen plays, 83 yards that ended with an incompletion to a diving Josh Boyce in the end zone on third-and-goal from the 2.
 
* The Patriots first drive defensively was just the way Bill Belichick would draw it up.
 
* Given the Patriots are on the road, playing in the heat in their first game without Gronkowski in a little while and all the Dolphins have at stake, it’s been a very good start.
 
* The Dolphins lamented mistakes as being the reason they lost the first meeting with the Patriots. The mishandled (premature) snap on the field goal attempt that cost Miami three (and maybe more as a fake possibly was on) will be lamented.