NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 17 Game Recap: New England Patriots 23, Miami Dolphins 21

Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) hands off the ball to running back Damien Harris (37) against the Miami Dolphins in the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

In a battle with massive playoff implications for the AFC wildcard, the New England Patriots upended the Tua Tagovailoa-less Miami Dolphins for a 23-21 win. The Patriots now control their destiny heading into Week 18. If they beat the Bills in Buffalo — who may not have anything to play for if they lose to the Cincinnati Bengals Monday night — the Patriots are a wildcard team.

Offensive spotlight: Mac Jones has quietly been playing much better ball over the past few weeks than he did to start the season. He racked up four big-time throws against the Dolphins — the second-highest such figure of his career — and didn’t have a single turnover-worthy play on the day.

Defensive spotlight: This Patriots defense is rounding back into scary form with Christian Barmore‘s return to the interior of their defensive line. He wasn’t quite back to form in his first two games but put on a show against the Dolphins on Sunday. He led all players in the game with six pressures to match his career-high set last season.

Rookie spotlight: It was no cakewalk for rookie guard Cole Strange against the likes of Christian Wilkins and company on the Dolphins' interior. That makes his performance in pass protection all the more impressive. The rookie allowed only one hit on 37 pass-blocking snaps on the day.

Offensive line spotlight: The Dolphins offensive line is a completely different animal without Terron Armstead on the left side. The starting five combined to allow an absurd 21 pressures on 45 pass-blocking snaps on the day. It’s a minor miracle that only two of them resulted in sacks.

Box Score

Passing
Miami Dolphins
Player Fantasy Comp/Att Yds YPA TD Int
Teddy Bridgewater 10.04 12 / 19 161 8.5 1 1
Skylar Thompson 7.56 12 / 21 104 5 1 1
New England Patriots
Player Fantasy Comp/Att Yds YPA TD Int
Mac Jones 16.22 20 / 33 203 6.2 2 0
Rushing
Miami Dolphins
Player Fantasy Car Yds YPC TD Long
Raheem Mostert 23.1 9 29 3.2 0 6
Tyreek Hill 15.7 1 2 2 1 2
Jeff Wilson Jr. 10.6 15 45 3 0 11
Teddy Bridgewater 10.04 1 6 6 0 6
Skylar Thompson 7.56 1 4 4 0 4
New England Patriots
Player Fantasy Car Yds YPC TD Long
Mac Jones 16.22 3 1 0.3 0 3
Damien Harris 8 9 32 3.6 0 11
Rhamondre Stevenson 7.1 8 42 5.2 0 18
Kendrick Bourne 2.8 1 2 2 0 2
Receiving
Miami Dolphins
Player Fantasy Tgt Rec Yds YPR TD
Raheem Mostert 23.1 8 8 62 7.8 1
Tyreek Hill 15.7 7 4 55 13.8 0
Jeff Wilson Jr. 10.6 7 3 31 10.3 0
Mike Gesicki 9.8 4 2 18 9 1
Jaylen Waddle 8.2 5 3 52 17.3 0
Trent Sherfield 5 6 2 30 15 0
Durham Smythe 1.9 1 1 9 9 0
Salvon Ahmed 1.8 1 1 8 8 0
Alec Ingold 0 1 0 0 0 0
New England Patriots
Player Fantasy Tgt Rec Yds YPR TD
Jakobi Meyers 16.8 9 6 48 8 1
Tyquan Thornton 15 7 3 60 20 1
Hunter Henry 10.2 6 5 52 10.4 0
Damien Harris 8 3 3 18 6 0
Rhamondre Stevenson 7.1 4 2 9 4.5 0
Kendrick Bourne 2.8 2 1 16 16 0
Nelson Agholor 0 1 0 0 0 0

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