The Phins collapse in the fourth, allowing 22 unanswered points to hand the game to the still undefeated Saints.
New Orleans Saints 46 at Miami Dolphins 34
Miami started out on fire, with the help of Ricky Williams finding the end zone often and early, but a fourth quarter rout by the Saints allowed New Orleans to stay undefeated, now 6-0. Miami fell to 2-4 with this loss, another disappointing game that they should have arguably come away victorious. Chad Henne came down to Earth Sunday, making late mistakes, with two of his interceptions being ran back for scores. Drew Brees on the other hand, overcame his errors, streaching for a critical goal line score to bring the Saints within reach before the half, and delivered a solid fourth quarter performance to help New Orleans beat Miami at home, 46-34.
The Dolphins did an excellent job eating up the clock in the first half, running the ball efficiently, but Miami then suddenly turned to their passing game in the second half, leading to critical points off of turnovers. The Saints utilized that Brees touchdown as momentum going into halftime, coming out in the third quarter and running a Henne interception back for six, bringing New Orleans within eight. In the second half, the Saints gobbled up the clock and took control of the game, despite making some vital mistakes as well. But in the fourth quarter, it was all New Orleans, as they dominated Miami 22-0, closing out this high scoring ball game.
This was a huge loss for the Phins, with both the Patriots and Jets coming away victorious. Why they abandoned the running game in the second half will be looked upon as poor coaching, especially considering that the long drives that focused on keeping Brees off of the field worked so well for Miami in the first half. Henne was unable to deliver the prior performances he had against a tough second half Saints defense, and couldn't make the plays needed to get the job done this time around. The Saints did an excellent job of never giving up and playing tough football, until finally running away with it in the fourth.
Miami must rebuild after this loss, but they played a tough game against one of the best teams in the league once again. Despite the second half failure, Miami can still find positives to build off of within this defeat. Not too many teams have been able to keep it close with the Saints, let alone holding the lead for most of the game. If Miami can keep their heads up after this loss, focusing on the offensive production they accumulated and realizing that every team will have trouble stopping this Saints offense this year, they'll be just fine. Miami is without a doubt the best 2-4 team in the league. This Saints on the other hand are currently the kings of the NFC, so Miami shouldn't let this loss affect their confidence whatsoever. Next week Miami will go to New York to play the Jets, a team they must beat again.
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Written by Josh Souder