Dolphins Lose Record-Setting Shootout To Patriots In Season Opener

Posted Sep 12, 2011

Despite an encouraging performance from their offense, the Miami Dolphins couldn’t find an answer for Tom Brady in a 38-24 season-opening loss to the New England Patriots at Sun Life Stadium on Monday night.


Despite an encouraging performance from their offense, the Miami Dolphins couldn’t find an answer for Tom Brady in a 38-24 season-opening loss to the New England Patriots at Sun Life Stadium on Monday night.

Quarterback Chad Henne completed 30-of-49 for a career-high 416 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Unfortunately, the other ex-Michigan quarterback in the game, Brady, also had a career night, completing 32-of-48 for 517 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. The two set an NFL record for combined passing yards in one game of 906 yards, surpassing the 884 yards the Dolphins and Jets combined for 15 years ago.
Neither defense will be too proud after this game as the two offenses combined for a Monday night record 1,110 yards, which also was the most combined in Dolphins history. The Dolphins’ unit gave up 622 total yards and will not be happy with that game film.

Statistical Milestones:

Henne’s passing yardage total was the second highest total by a Dolphins quarterback other than Hall-of-Famer Dan Marino. …. Henne also completed eight passes of 20 yards or more, four to Brandon Marshall, three to tight end Anthony Fasano and one to Davone Bess  … Marshall finished with seven catches for 139 yards and the yardage total was the second highest of his career in a season opener. … This was also Fasano’s best performance of his career in a season opener with five catches for 82 yards. … Running back Reggie Bush’s nine catches for 56 yards were the most in his career for a season opener. … Henne’s 19-yard run in the fourth quarter was the longest of his career and he was the team’s leading rusher with seven carries for 59 yards and a touchdown run of nine yards.
Sparano Speaks:

“We said it during the week, big plays are going to kill you against this team. You can’t make it easy for them and at the end of this some of their scores ended up looking kind of easy.” – on New England’s success in the passing game.
“I thought it was outstanding. I thought the kid played a great game. It’s the way he’s been practicing and it’s the way he’s been playing. I thought they did a good job on that side of the football and they kept swinging. That’s supposed to be a pretty good defense over there and they’re a pretty good team so I think those guys did a pretty good job and kept coming back at them so I was pleased.” – on the play of Henne and the entire offense.
“I’d like to get him on the ball on the ground a little bit more but when the game kind of got out of hand a little bit we got away from that. Reggie probably played too many plays tonight. At the end I think we only took him out one play so at some point here we’re going to have to get him out of the game and give him a little breather. But I was pleased with what Reggie did.” – on running back Reggie Bush’s workload.
From The Locker Room:

Chad Henne – “We saw that they were going to give us man coverage so we were getting a lot of one-on-one matchups out there and we were taking advantage of them outside. Our guys were winning out there making big plays for me and did a good job.” – on why he had the success he had tonight in the passing game.
Reggie Bush – “It felt great. It was everything that I’ve been looking forward and it was everything I expected. I had a fun time out there but obviously it’s not that much fun when you lose. I thought we did a great job running the ball early on but with that being said we’ve got to be able to match the other team’s offensive power and their clock management and keep it to short downs and distances.” – on being the number one option in the running game
Davone Bess – “We left a lot of plays out there on the field. Obviously the turnout isn’t what we planned. From that standpoint we knew they were a good team and in this league you can’t let good teams stick around. We had opportunities to jump on top and somewhat put them away but we didn’t capitalize.” – on being part of an offense to put up nearly 500 yards.
Brandon Marshall – “Chad’s better, I’m better, Hartline is better and Davone Bess is better. I think our offensive guys put in a lot of work this offseason. We just have to build off of tonight.” – on the difference between this year’s offense and last year’s offense.
Game Balls:

Chad Henne – Marshall jokingly compared him to Michael Vick after the scrambling display he put on tonight, but his 30 completions and 49 attempts were the third most of his four-year career.
Brandon Marshall – This was the 15th time in his career that Marshall eclipsed the 100-yard mark in receiving and the fifth time as a Miami Dolphin. His 139 yards also were the fifth highest of his career.
Anthony Fasano – Fasano’s 82 receiving yards were the third highest of his career and his 25-yard reception was the seventh longest of his career as he re-emerged as a legitimate receiving threat from the tight end position.

With that touchdown on their opening drive this marked the first time the Dolphins have done scored a touchdown on the first drive of the season since September 3rd, 2000. …. This also was the first time since September 12th, 1982 that Miami scored a touchdown on the first possession in each half of a season opener. … The combined total yardage of 1,110 was the second most in NFL history, trailing a 1,133-yard performance on November 19th, 1950 when the Los Angeles Rams played the New York Yanks.  
Next Week:

Miami hosts the Houston Texans at 4:15 p.m. at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins have never beaten the Texans.