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Patriots’ stunning loss to Miami will test their character – Boston Herald

Patriots’ stunning loss to Miami will test their character – Boston Herald
  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Kenyan Drake #32 of the Miami Dolphins runs in for the profitable landing as Patrick Chung #23 of the New England Patriots, Duron Harmon #21 and Rob Gronkowski #87 chase within the final seconds of the sport through the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation at Exhausting Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: New England Patriots head coach Invoice Belichick walks off the sector after dropping 34-33 towards the Miami Dolphins at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Robert Quinn #94 of the Miami Dolphins sacks Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots in the course of the first half of the NFL recreation at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Tom Brady #12 hugs David Andrews #60 after James Develin #46 of the New England Patriots scored in the course of the first half of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Onerous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Stephen Gostkowski #three of the New England Patriots reacts after lacking a area objective through the second half of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Onerous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Minkah Fitzpatrick #29 of the Miami Dolphins tries to drag down Josh Gordon #10 of the New England Patriots in the course of the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation at Exhausting Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: David Andrews #60 will get prepared to spike the ball after James Develin #46 of the New England Patriots scored in the course of the first half of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Dont’a Hightower #54 of the New England Patriots celebrates his sack of Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins with Adam Butler #70 in the course of the first half of the NFL recreation at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: James White #28 of the New England Patriots runs the ball through the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Patrick Chung #23 and Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots deal with Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins as Duron Harmon #21 and Elandon Roberts #52 look on in the course of the first half of the NFL recreation at Onerous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws because the offensive line blocks through the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Onerous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Tom Brady #12 walks over to James Develin #46 after he scored a landing, flanked by Jacob Hollister #47 and David Andrews #60 of the New England Patriots through the first half of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Exhausting Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Adrian Clayborn #94 and Adam Butler #70 of the New England Patriots deal with Kenyan Drake #32 of the Miami Dolphins in the course of the third quarter of the NFL recreation at Onerous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: New England Patriots head coach Invoice Belichick through the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots after getting sacked in the course of the third quarter of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Exhausting Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Robert Quinn #94 of the Miami Dolphins sacks Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots through the first half of the NFL recreation at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots after getting sacked through the third quarter of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Exhausting Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: New England Patriots head coach Invoice Belichick walks off the sector after dropping 34-33 towards the Miami Dolphins at Exhausting Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Kyle Van Noy #53 of the New England Patriots lies down as others stroll again in shock after Kenyan Drake #32 of the Miami Dolphins runs in for the profitable landing within the final seconds of the sport in the course of the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation at Exhausting Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Tom Brady #12 walks over to James Develin #46 after he scored a landing, flanked by Jacob Hollister #47 and David Andrews #60 of the New England Patriots in the course of the first half of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Onerous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Dont’a Hightower #54 of the New England Patriots celebrates his sack of Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins with Adam Butler #70 in the course of the first half of the NFL recreation at Onerous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Albert McClellan #59 of the New England Patriots blocks Matt Haack #2 of the Miami Dolphins punt in the course of the first half of the NFL recreation at Onerous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots grabs a catch in entrance of Reshad Jones #20 of the Miami Dolphins in the course of the first half of the NFL recreation at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots falls on Cornell Armstrong #31 of the Miami Dolphins for a landing in the course of the first half of the NFL recreation at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots dives in for additional yards by means of T.J. McDonald #22 of the Miami Dolphins and Kiko Alonso #47 in the course of the first half of the NFL recreation at Exhausting Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots seems to be harm through the first half of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Onerous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Albert McClellan #59 of the New England Patriots blocks Matt Haack #2 of the Miami Dolphins punt through the first half of the NFL recreation at Onerous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots tackles Frank Gore #21 of the Miami Dolphins in the course of the third quarter of the NFL recreation at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots catches a cross in the course of the third quarter of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Bobby McCain #28 of the Miami Dolphins simply earlier than sacking Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots through the third quarter of the NFL recreation at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Kenny Stills #10 of the Miami Dolphins misses a catch above J.C. Jackson #27 of the New England Patriots through the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots bobbles the ball and misses the catch as Torry McTyer #24 of the Miami Dolphins provides him a shove in the course of the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots excessive fives Josh Gordon #10 of the New England Patriots in the course of the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Exhausting Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Minkah Fitzpatrick #29 of the Miami Dolphins will get a penalty as Josh Gordon #10 of the New England Patriots reaches for an extended cross from Tom Brady #12 through the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Kenyan Drake #32 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates after he ran in for the profitable landing within the final seconds of the sport towards the New England Patriots in the course of the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots spikes the ball after his landing through the first half of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Exhausting Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins screams out in ache as Adam Butler #70 of the New England Patriots sacks him in the course of the second quarter of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots celebrates his landing with James Develin #46 in the course of the second quarter of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Exhausting Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Albert McClellan #59 of the New England Patriots blocks Matt Haack #2 of the Miami Dolphins punt through the first half of the NFL recreation at Onerous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots grabs a catch in entrance of Reshad Jones #20 of the Miami Dolphins through the first half of the NFL recreation at Onerous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots falls on Cornell Armstrong #31 of the Miami Dolphins for a landing through the first half of the NFL recreation at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Brandon Bolden #38 of the Miami Dolphins beats Duron Harmon #21 of the New England Patriots for a landing in the course of the first half of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Exhausting Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots dives in for additional yards via T.J. McDonald #22 of the Miami Dolphins and Kiko Alonso #47 in the course of the first half of the NFL recreation at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots seems to be harm through the first half of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots celebrates his landing with James Develin #46 in the course of the second quarter of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Onerous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Kenyan Drake #32 of the Miami Dolphins runs in for the profitable landing within the final seconds of the sport as Patrick Chung #23 of the New England Patriots makes a block in the course of the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation at Exhausting Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots bobbles the ball and misses the catch as Torry McTyer #24 of the Miami Dolphins provides him a shove through the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Albert McClellan #59 of the New England Patriots blocks Matt Haack #2 of the Miami Dolphins punt in the course of the first half of the NFL recreation at Onerous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Albert McClellan #59 of the New England Patriots blocks Matt Haack #2 of the Miami Dolphins punt in the course of the first half of the NFL recreation at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Bobby McCain #28 of the Miami Dolphins simply earlier than sacking Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots in the course of the third quarter of the NFL recreation at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots catches a cross through the third quarter of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots tackles Frank Gore #21 of the Miami Dolphins in the course of the third quarter of the NFL recreation at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws the ball through the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Onerous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Kenny Stills #10 of the Miami Dolphins misses a catch above J.C. Jackson #27 of the New England Patriots through the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation at Exhausting Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Kyle Van Noy #53 of the New England Patriots lies down as others stroll again in shock after Kenyan Drake #32 of the Miami Dolphins runs in for the profitable landing within the final seconds of the sport in the course of the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation at Arduous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Minkah Fitzpatrick #29 of the Miami Dolphins will get a penalty as Josh Gordon #10 of the New England Patriots reaches for an extended move from Tom Brady #12 in the course of the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation at Onerous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Kenyan Drake #32 of the Miami Dolphins runs in for the profitable landing within the final seconds of the sport through the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation at Exhausting Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots excessive fives Josh Gordon #10 of the New England Patriots in the course of the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Exhausting Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Kenyan Drake #32 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates after he ran in for the profitable landing within the final seconds of the sport towards the New England Patriots through the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation at Exhausting Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Kenyan Drake #32 of the Miami Dolphins runs in for the profitable landing as Patrick Chung #23 of the New England Patriots, Duron Harmon #21 and Rob Gronkowski #87 chase within the final seconds of the sport through the fourth quarter of the NFL recreation at Exhausting Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • Miami Dolphins operating again Frank Gore (21) runs the ball forward of New England Patriots defensive again J.C. Jackson (27), through the second half of an NFL soccer recreation, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photograph/Lynne Sladky)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots spikes the ball after his landing in the course of the first half of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Onerous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots celebrates his landing with James Develin #46 through the second quarter of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Exhausting Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

  • MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 9: Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins screams out in ache as Adam Butler #70 of the New England Patriots sacks him through the second quarter of the NFL recreation towards the Miami Dolphins at Onerous Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Employees Photograph By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Because the Patriots locker room emptied, one other Miami meltdown within the books, two of the group’s leaders lingered.

Matthew Slater had simply wrapped up an interview, and his message was easy.

“You’ve got to be able to maintain perspective,” Slater stated in a quiet second from the guests’ locker room. “Let’s not lose our minds here. Let’s keep perspective. We’ve still got a lot to play for.”

Maybe Slater shared the identical ideas with defensive playcaller Brian Flores, who stopped by Slater’s locker for a quick dialog earlier than they departed to the workforce bus.

Slater was an harmless bystander within the last-second mess, merely a witness to an unbelievable hook-and-ladder that led to a Kenyan Drake walkoff 69-yard landing and a 34-33 Miami victory. Flores was at the least partially culpable.

Main 33-28 with seven seconds remaining, Invoice Belichick and Flores despatched Rob Gronkowski out because the deep security. That is typical in Hail Mary, jump-ball conditions. In Week 1, Gronkowski got here in towards the Texans, who have been on their personal 43-yard line line, and swatted down Deshaun Watson’s Hail Mary. Watson uncorked the throw from Houston’s 33-yard line, and it barely reached the New England 10.

Miami’s Ryan Tannehill confronted an much more troublesome proposition. The Dolphins have been at their personal 31-yard line with seven seconds remaining, which meant any Hail Mary would have wanted to journey 70 yards within the air — or farther, as Tannehill was doubtless to throw behind the road of scrimmage — to attain the top zone.

“They could have run the Desperado-type play, which is kind of an in between 20-yard pass, then it turned into a Desperado,” Belichick stated.

“You know he’s not throwing the ball 75 yards to the end zone,” stated Patriots security Duron Harmon. “We knew that. We knew it was going to be a lateral situation. If the ball was at the 35-yard line or the 40-yard line, maybe we would be thinking of a Hail Mary.”

However, Gronkowski was inserted because the final line of protection.

“Every time we practice it, it’s for the Hail Mary,” Gronkowski stated. “You’ve got to be ready for anything. It’s football. Just the way it ended, I mean, it sucked.”

The hook-and-ladder technique not often works, and when it does it typically requires 5 or 6 separate passes. This one was unusually primary. The Patriots rushed Adrian Clayborn, Adam Butler, and Trey Flowers. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy initially monitored operating again Kenyan Drake, however began to rush as Tannehill launched.

That left seven defenders within the secondary: Cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore, Jonathan Jones, J.C. Jackson, and Jason McCourty; safeties Patrick Chung and Duron Harmon; and Gronk.

Free security Devin McCourty was relegated to the sideline.

Jones dedicated the primary miscue, flying by Kenny Stills because the receiver got here again for the catch on the Miami 46-yard line. Stills turned upfield, pressured Jackson to commit, after which pitched the ball outdoors to DeVante Parker.

Virtually immediately, Parker flipped it backward to Drake, who was operating at full velocity from the backfield. Van Noy dove at his legs. Drake tripped for a second, however regained his stability and veered towards the center of the sector. Patrick Chung, the Patriots’ outermost defender, tried to funnel Drake again to the remainder of the protection. However Danny Amendola received in entrance of Chung, shoving him within the path of offensive lineman Ted Larsen.

Larsen laid huge block on Chung. Defenders on the opposite aspect of the sector, together with Gilmore, appeared involved that Drake would lateral once more. They didn’t pursue almost aggressively sufficient.

Abruptly, Drake had a full head of steam heading towards Gronkowski.

Gronk stumbled on the 15-yard line as Drake bounced again outdoors.

Ballgame.

The post-game scene was anticipated given the stunning outcome. Stephon Gilmore sat slumped at his locker. Operating backs coach Ivan Fears did the identical, staring off into area.

“You guys know my history (on losing teams),” stated cornerback Jason McCourty. “To be in a game like this and have so much on the line, just disappointing.”

Gamers have been requested to clarify the ultimate play, however none of them provided a lot perception.

“We can talk about that play until we’re blue in the face,” McCourty stated. “As a defense, we just have to get to the ball and get him down. It’s nothing crazy or scientific I can tell you.”

The Patriots bounced again from final season’s Week 14 debacle at Miami simply high quality, pulling out an unimaginable last-second win at Pittsburgh the next weekend. That set the stage for an additional Tremendous Bowl run.

Three years in the past, a weird 20-10 loss at Miami within the common season finale had an enduring influence. The sport value the Pats the No. 1 seed within the AFC. They later traveled to Denver for the convention championship recreation and got here up two factors brief.

And this one?

As his teammates cleared out, Slater referred to as it “a test of character for all the individuals on this team and collectively as a group.”

“I think everyone will process it in their own way,” Slater stated. “We’ve got a lot of men on this team that are grounded in the right things, who have the right perspective when a situation like this occurs. And now’s a time to lean on that and move forward.”

It’s a well-known feeling in Miami, much more jarring this time. It’s December. The Patriots’ street woes persist. How they reply from their newest Miami meltdown, as stunning a loss as any in current franchise historical past, will outline their 2018 season.