MIAMI (AFP) – Jay Cutler outgunned Tom Brady as the Miami Dolphins upset the New England Patriots 27-20 to delay the Super Bowl champions’ bid to clinch their divisional title on Monday.
Cutler threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns as the Dolphins held on for a deserved win. The Patriots could have wrapped up the AFC East divisional crown with a victory at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium.
However, Bill Belichick’s men were always chasing the game with veteran quarterback Brady struggling in the absence of suspended go-to tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Brady failed to make a single third down conversion throughout in an error-strewn performance from the Patriots offense.
Brady threw the first of two interceptions on the opening drive of the night and struggled to find his rhythm as Miami built a 6-0 lead at the end of the first quarter via two Cody Parkey field goals.
New England, however, responded with a five-play 51-yard drive which culminated with running back Rex Burkhead diving into the end zone to score from three yards out.
The Patriots’ possession of the lead was short-lived as Cutler once again moved Miami up the field with a composed drive.
The Miami quarterback connected with Jarvis Landry on a five-yard pass for the touchdown.
The Patriots reduced the deficit when Stephen Gostkowski drilled a 46-yard field goal on the stroke of half-time to make it 13-10 at the break.
But Miami cut loose in the third quarter when Cutler hit Jakeem Grant on a 25-yard pass for a touchdown before connecting with Landry again to put the Dolphins 27-10 ahead. Brady finally got the Patriots going early in the fourth quarter, finding James White in the end zone to make it a 10-point game.
But New England’s hopes of a trademark late comeback were undermined by a string of errors as Miami held on to win.