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Inside the Numbers: Mostert, Defense, Lift Dolphins to Primetime Win Over New England

After last Sunday's high-scoring affair against the Los Angeles Chargers, it was Miami's rushing attack and defense that helped propel the team to a 24-17 victory at Gillette Stadium on Sunday Night Football.

We go Inside the Numbers, presented by BDO, to take a look at the team stats, individual metrics, milestones and more that helped the Dolphins move to 2-0 in 2023.

Back-to-Back Road Wins

The Dolphins are 2-0 for the second consecutive season under Head Coach Mike McDaniel and the 22nd time overall. It marks the first time Miami has begun back-to-back seasons with two wins since 2001-02.

With victories at Los Angeles in Week 1 and New England in Week 2, Miami has won road games in the first two weeks of the season for the first time since 2013. That was also the last time the Dolphins won their first two road games of a season regardless of which weeks they were played.

Success Against the Patriots

Miami has now won five of its last six contests against the Patriots. The last time Miami won five of six meetings with New England was from 1999-2001.

The Dolphins are also 3-2 in their last five trips to Gillette Stadium. Prior to that, the team had not won there since 2008.

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw for 249 yards in the victory. He improved to 5-0 as a starter against the Patriots and became just the third NFL quarterback to beat them five times in the regular season since 2000, joining Josh Allen (5-4) and Peyton Manning (5-10).

Monster Night for Mostert

The Patriots were tied for the least number of rushing touchdowns allowed (7) and held their opponents to just 4.1 yards per carry (T-4) last season. The longest run play they gave up in 2022 was 38 yards.

Sunday night, however, running back Raheem Mostert finished with 18 carries for 121 yards (6.7 avg.) and two touchdowns. It was the fifth 100-yard rushing game of Mostert's career (including playoffs) and his third with the Dolphins.

It was also just the fifth time since 2020 that the Patriots allowed a player to rush for 120 yards in a game.

Mostert scored two touchdowns in a game for the first time since Jan. 19, 2020. His 43-yard score with 8:45 left to play was the longest run play allowed by New England since Dec. 18, 2021 (at Indianapolis) and gave Miami a 24-10 lead.

Impact Plays on Defense

The leaders on the Dolphins defense talked all week about how dissatisfied they were with their Week 1 performance. Sure enough, they bounced back in a big way Sunday night against the Patriots.

Four different players (LB Bradley Chubb, LB David Long Jr. LB Andrew Van Ginkel, DT Christian Wilkins) recorded a sack while three others (DT Raekwon Davis, S Jevon Holland, and CB Kader Kohou added tackles for loss.

In addition to his seven total tackles, Chubb also forced a fumble in the first quarter that ended a would-be scoring opportunity for New England.

Near the end of the third quarter, cornerback Xavien Howard intercepted Patriots quarterback Mac Jones at Miami's 3-yard line to end a promising drive. It was Howard's first interception of the season and 29th of his career, moving him into a tie for fourth place with Pat Surtain and Glenn Blackwood for the most interceptions in Dolphins history.

For more analysis on Sunday's victory, listen to the latest episode of Drive Time with Travis Wingfield.

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