Patriots unmatched after beating Dolphins for 19th in row
FOXBORO, Mass. -- The New England Patriots set an NFL record for consecutive wins, counting playoffs, with plenty of help from the winless Miami
The Patriots won their 19th in a row Sunday, a 24-10 victory built on two touchdown passes by Tom Brady and two more turnovers by the offensively
This Miami team is nothing like the one that no longer shares the record with five other teams. That one went 17-0 in 1972 and won its opener in
The Dolphins fell to 0-5, matching their worst start in history as an expansion team in 1966, when they won their sixth game.
New England (4-0) won its previous 18 games by an average margin of just 8.9 points, fewer than any of the other teams that shared the mark: Chicago
in 1933-34 and again in 1941-42; Miami in 1972-73; San Francisco in 1989-90; and Denver in 1997-98.
The Dolphins' problems began before the game when placekicker Olindo Mare left the field on a cart with an injured right calf. They continued until
the end when quarterback Jay Fiedler suffered a rib injury on a 12-yard sack that pushed the ball back to the New England 13. Two plays later, his
replacement, A.J. Feeley, was shaken up when hit by Rosevelt Colvin as the fourth-down pass fell incomplete.
Miami also added to its NFL-high 14 turnovers and scored just one touchdown to add to its total of two in the first four games.
The Patriots played without injured receivers Deion Branch, Troy Brown and Bethel Johnson, but led 10-0 on Brady's 1-yard pass to Daniel Graham in
the first quarter and Adam Vinatieri's 40-yard field goal early in the second.
Miami cut that to 10-7 when Fielder threw a 10-yard pass to Chris Chambers.
Then a strange play - punter Matt Turk's failed run for a first down - gave the Patriots the ball at the Dolphins 46. Six plays later, Brady hit David
Givens for a 5-yard score 36 seconds before halftime.
Fiedler's fumble on the first series of the third quarter led to Rabih Abdullah's 1-yard touchdown run, making it 24-7.
Rookie kick returner Wes Welker, Mare's replacement who missed his only extra-point kick in college, added a 29-yard field goal that made it 24-10
late in the quarter.
The Patriots, winners of two of the last three Super Bowls, aren't done going after winning-streak records. If they beat Seattle next Sunday, they'll
tie the mark of 17 consecutive regular-season wins set by the Bears in 1933-34. And if they beat the New York Jets the following Sunday, they'll break
that record, too.
Both games are at Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots began the streak on Oct. 5 last year with a 38-30 win over Tennessee in which they overcame a
three-point deficit in the last four minutes.
Miami needed Mare when, with a fourth-and-11 at the New England 21, the Dolphins had to go for a first down and Fiedler threw an incompletion in the
end zone with 10:01 left.