FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Even when they look sluggish, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots still dominate.
Brady threw for 356 yards and four touchdowns — two to Julian Edelman — and the Patriots beat the Miami Dolphins 36-7 on Thursday night to become the first of the NFL’s five unbeaten teams to reach seven wins.
Stephen Gostkowski broke Adam Vinatieri’s franchise record for consecutive field goals by connecting from 52 and 36 yards to make it 26 in a row. Rob Gronkowski had 113 yards receiving and a touchdown, and Dion Lewis had 93 yards receiving and one score.
The loss was the first for Miami (3-4) under interim coach Dan Campbell. The Dolphins scored 82 points in wins over the lowly Titans and Texans in Campbell’s first two games after replacing Joe Philbin.
But they were completely overmatched against the defending Super Bowl champions.
It could be an even bigger loss for the Dolphins because four-time Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake was carted off the field with an Achilles tendon injury.
The Patriots are 7-0 for the second time in franchise history and first time since going 16-0 in 2007. They’ve scored at least 28 points in every game and 30 or more in six straight.
A week after setting an NFL record with 25 straight completions, Ryan Tannehill had a rough night against New England. He threw two interceptions and no TDs.
Brady connected with Gronkowski for a 47-yard scoring pass on the opening drive, but the Patriots managed a total of 65 yards on their next five possessions.
They went up 9-0 on a safety after center Mike Pouncey snapped the ball before Tannehill was ready on a third down from the 9.
Then Brady got going in the 2-minute offense. He completed all four of his passes for 59 yards on a scoring drive that was capped by a 16-yard toss to Lewis for a 19-0 lead.
Tannehill led the Dolphins into the end zone to start the second half with Lamar Miller scoring on a 1-yard run.
But the Patriots took control in the fourth quarter. Brady threw TD passes of 10 and 16 yards to Edelman to put it out of reach.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft got a huge roar from the crowd when he took a verbal shot at the Colts during a speech honoring Willie McGinest on Thursday night.
“There’s nothing more satisfying than saddling the Indianapolis Colts with a loss, something the Patriots did 16 times in Willie McGinest’s career,” Kraft said after the two-time Pro Bowl linebacker was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame at halftime of New England’s game against Miami.
The rivalry between the Patriots and Colts intensified because of the “Deflategate” scandal, which began when Indianapolis reported New England was using underinflated balls during the AFC championship game last January.
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