Fighting for their playoff lives in the NFL, the Miami Dolphins picked a great time to play their best game of the season, upstaging the New England Patriots 27-20.
Not only did the Dolphins stay alive in the postseason picture with Monday's victory over the reigning Super Bowl champions, they prevented New England from clinching the AFC East for the ninth successive season.
The Dolphins dominated from the outset and have now strung together a pair of dominant victories after last week's 35-9 win over the Denver Broncos.
Monday's loss in Miami snapped New England's 14-game road winning streak.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is now just 7-9 as a starter against the Dolphins in Miami.
The Patriots (10-3) also saw the end of their eight-game winning streak this season and seven-game streak against AFC East opponents.
NEW ENGLAND'S MAKESHIFT DEFENSE MADE CUTLER LOOK LIKE A HALL OF FAMER
The Patriots are dealing with multiple injuries on defense and have tried to use schemes to cover up personnel deficiencies. It caught up to them on Monday as Jay Cutler picked apart Matt Patricia's defense. Cutler had the best game of his lone season with the Dolphins, going 25 of 38 for 263 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Cutler's best throw of the night may have been a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jakeem Grant, who finished with two catches for 42 yards.
Miami took advantage of New England's short-handed defense with several underneath routes to help Cutler and allow the Dolphins receivers to catch and run.
While Cutler outplayed Brady, the Dolphins (6-7) also got a strong performance from Kenyan Drake. The second-year running back ran for 114 yards and caught five passes for 79 yards.
BRADY WAS OFF ALL NIGHT
The first quarter ended with the Dolphins holding a 6-0 lead. The Patriots had just two yards of offense and Brady did not complete a pass to his own team. He threw the first of two interceptions to Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard on an ill-advised throw to Brandin Cooks.
Brady had completed better than 68 percent of his passes for 3,632 yards with 26 touchdowns and only four interceptions through 12 games. He was just 24 of 43 for 233 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions on Monday.
The second Brady interception was early in the third quarter as Howard made an exceptional play to again take the ball from Cooks.
That turnover led to the touchdown pass to Grant and the Dolphins were rolling. While Brady was off, there was no better catch made Monday than Dion Lewis' one-handed grab to set up New England's first touchdown.
Brady was sacked twice and hit six more times. One said was courtesy of Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who said last week his job Monday was to "piss off" Brady. It worked and the Patriots were 0 for 11 on third-down with seven three-and-outs. It was the first time since 1991 the Patriots were held without a third-down conversion.
PATRIOTS STILL THE CLASS OF THE AFC EAST
Monday may have been a classic trap game for the Patriots with the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2) looming next week. Even if the Dolphins caught the Patriots looking ahead to next Sunday's game in Pittsburgh, the Dolphins deserve a lot of credit for a dominating performance.
Miami outplayed New England in nearly every aspect of the game. That said, the Patriots will still win the AFC East and the Dolphins will likely miss the playoffs. The Patriots might be the only team from the AFC East to make the playoffs. The Buffalo Bills are the six seed and will play the Dolphins twice over the next three weeks with a Christmas Eve game against the Patriots sandwiched between.
The Patriots were soundly beaten on Monday, but they are still the best team in the AFC East and it is not really close. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and his staff have done a spectacular job of having his team respond well to losses. The Patriots are 40-11 after a loss since 2001 under Belichick.
|Billy Vunipola ruled out with fractured arm|
|Get the chequebook out! - Mayweather talks up potential Khabib clash|
|Amla ruled out of Australia tour|
|Class act Hamilton more complete than ever - Wolff|
|NBA 2018-19: It´s a big season for - Ball, Kawhi, Carmelo, Love & Cousins|
|Bellew: I have no fear of Usyk|
|Birthday boy Ozil is the most creative player in Europe|
|CSA reveals De Villiers and Rabada involved in Mzansi Super League|
|FA condemns England supporters involved in trouble in Seville|
|Gascoigne hits back over Scottish Hall of Fame snub|
|NBA 2018-19: LeBron closing in on Jordan, Curry chasing Miller and Allen|
|Ter Stegen should start ahead of Neuer for Germany – Matthaus|
|England´s Sterling impressed by Sancho´s work ethic|
|Vandoorne seals switch to Formula E|
|Halep to end 2018 as world number one|
|Sri Lanka´s Jayasuriya charged by ICC with breaching anti-corruption code|
|Vermaelen out for six weeks with hamstring injury|
|LeBron and Irving did not fall out, says ex-Cavs trainer|
|Ramsey out of Wales´ clash with Republic of Ireland|
|Bolt angry with drugs test|
|Bad luck is not a coincidence – Kimmich concerned by Germany form|
|Mahomes: Chiefs need to win like Brady and the Patriots|
|Schuster warns Real Madrid not to panic-buy striker in January|
|We´re here to win! - Paine not happy celebrating a draw|
|Injured Thauvin out of Germany clash|
|Southgate hits out at early Premier League start|
|Modric to Inter talk is ´fantasy´, says Guardiola|
|Pats hand first loss to Chiefs after wild shoot-out|
|Cowboys, Ravens dominate as Pats beat Chiefs in NFL classic|
|Brady becomes first QB to 200 regular-season wins in NFL|
|Red Sox level series against Astros|
|Mbappe leaves red-faced Dembele on his backside|
|Red Sox ace Sale admitted to hospital with stomach illness|
|From UFC to NFL? McGregor throws pass for Cowboys|
|Ancelotti praises ´dangerous´ Mbappe|
|Uncapped Papalii named in All Blacks squad|
|Kane would star in LaLiga – Ramos|
|Guardiola unsure about Man City´s Champions League chances|
|Dzeko: Premier League return? You never know|
|Gurley dominates to help Rams beat Broncos|
|Butler expected to play Timberwolves´ opener against Spurs|
|I´m no wizard – Mancini asks for patience with Italy|
|The Messi and Ronaldo era is phenomenal – Guardiola|
|Dolphins defeat Bears in OT with 47-yard field goal|
|Almirola picks up win at Talladega|
|Wigan´s Sarginson wanted Grand Final glory in memory of brother|
|McLeish: Scotland keep shooting themselves in the foot|
|Sarries´ walking wounded a concern for Jones|
|Poland 0 Italy 1: Biraghi seals last-gasp win to keep final-four hopes alive|
|Seahawks top Raiders with blowout win in London|
|In-demand Hogg hints at Glasgow exit|
|Holder calls on Windies batsmen to step up after India whitewash|
|France´s World Cup win hurt me - Koscielny retires from international football|
|Bailey performs U-turn on Jamaica call-up|
|Evans becomes Buccaneers´ all-time leading receiver|
|Overlooked Alba is one of the world´s best, says Ramos|
|Del Potro a major ATP Finals doubt due to fractured patella|
|Gomez to replace suspended Stones for England|
|Luis Enrique applauds ´adaptive´ Southgate|
|Pepperell holds off Bjork for wire-to-wire British Masters glory|
|Steelers´ Shazier returns to Bengals´ stadium for first time since injury|
|Scotland 1 Portugal 3: Santos´ side pile misery on McLeish|
|Falcons prey on Toulon, Vunipola brothers injured in Sarries win|
|N´Golo Kante is fundamental for France – Lucas Hernandez|
|Real Madrid star Bale withdraws from Wales squad|
|50 Cent to meet Khabib for Bellator talks|
|Drink-driving charge does not change who I am – Lloris|
|Pavard backs Varane to beat favourites to Ballon d´Or|
|Gareth gives players more input - Henderson explains Southgate, Klopp contrast|
|Stephens qualifies for WTA Finals as Svitolina sits out Kremlin Cup|