The Dolphins just couldn’t find any answers on offense Sunday.
The defense held the New England Patriots offense in check for a good part of the afternoon, but that wasn’t enough to prevent a 43-0 loss at Hard Rock Stadium.
New England scored two touchdowns on pick-sixes in the fourth quarter — one of 54 yards by cornerback Stephon Gilmore and the other of 69 yards by linebacker Jamie Collins — and Tom Brady threw a TD pass to running back James White with 2:10 left in the fourth quarter.
Brady passed for two touchdowns and ran for another for New England, which won in Miami for only the second time in seven trips. Sony Michel had a rushing touchdown and Antonio Brown caught a touchdown pass in his first game with New England.
The Dolphins were shut out in Miami for the first time since 2010 when they suffered a 16-0 loss against the Chicago Bears in a Thursday night game. The Dolphins had one final chance to avoid the shutout on the final play of the game after calling a timeout with 1 second left on a first-and-goal at the 8-yard line, but Josh Rosen’s pass was tipped and intercepted.
An indication of the Dolphins’ offensive struggles is the fact they didn’t drive past the New England 40-yard line until the fourth quarter — and that was followed immediately by Collins’ pick-six, which came after running back Kalen Ballage bobbled Fitzpatrick’s pass.
The frustration on offense continued after Rosen replaced Fitzpatrick at quarterback when Jakeem Grant dropped a perfectly thrown bomb at the New England 15-yard line and Preston Williams shortly thereafter also dropped a long pass.
The Dolphins did not take a snap inside the New England 35-yard line until 10 seconds remained in the game.
The Dolphins managed only 51 total yards and two first downs in the first half.
After giving up a touchdown on the first drive, the defense stiffened.
Jenkins had the big defensive play of the first half when he bull-rushed Patriots guard Shaq Mason back into Tom Brady, who fell and was sacked for a 7-yard loss.
Brady, however, was able to connect with Phillip Dorsett for an 18-yard completion on third-and-17 to keep alive a touchdown drive that ended with his 20-yard pass to Antonio Brown.
Brown, the longtime Pittsburgh Steelers star, made his New England debut and caught three passes on the Patriots’ first drive.
That drive ended with Michel’s 1-yard TD run.
The Dolphins’ best drive of the first half reached the New England 48-yard line, but Fitzpatrick was sacked on third-and-8.
The other four drives of the first half ended in a three-and-out.
Unfortunately for the Dolphins, the offensive struggles continued in the second half.
New England made it 23-0 on Brady’s sneak, which followed an interception by safety Devin McCourty, and the two pick-sixes closed out the scoring.
The Dolphins play their first road game of 2019 next Sunday when they travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys.