Special teams leads Pats past Dolphins, 41-14
Tuesday, October 5, 2010; 12:43 AM
MIAMI -- The New England Patriots had another big night, and this time the NFL's highest-scoring team totaled most of its points with Tom Brady and the rest of the offense cheering from the sideline.
Patrick Chung blocked two kicks and returned an interception for a touchdown, and New England scored twice on special teams to beat the hapless Miami Dolphins 41-14 on Monday night.
Brady threw for only 153 yards, and Randy Moss was held without a catch for the first time since 2006, but the Patriots still registered their biggest point total yet. They're averaging 33 points per game.
New England trailed 7-6 at halftime, but when Brandon Tate returned the second half kickoff 103 yards for a score, the deluge was on before a stunned crowd. In the fourth quarter, the stadium quickly emptied.
"Where's everyone going? 'The party' is just getting started at Sun Life Stadium," the Patriots posted on their Twitter feed.
"We had a tidal wave hit us," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. "It was a mess. Embarrassing. These fans deserve better than this."
New England (3-1) moved into a tie with the New York Jets for first place in the AFC East, while the Dolphins (2-2) dropped to third place with their second divisional loss at home in eight days.
Chung blocked a punt to set up a touchdown, then blocked a field goal that Kyle Arrington returned 35 yards for a score.
"We practiced everything that happened - all of those blocks, and people doing their job allowed me to make a play," Chung said.
He returned an interception 51 yards for New England's final score.
Another unexpected contribution came from linebacker Rob Ninkovich, who had the first two interceptions of his five-year career. Chung and Arrington scored their first career TDs, and Patriots reserve fullback Danny Woodhead scored on an 11-yard reception.
The Patriots totaled 17 points in a span of 2:16 bridging halftime to take command.