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Patriots 7, Dolphins 7: New England, Miami Trade Opening Drive Touchdowns

The Patriots and Dolphins have traded touchdowns on their opening drives, leaving the score locked at 7-7 with four minutes to go in the first quarter.

After the opening kickoff resulted in poor field position for the Dolphins, starting on the 15, the Patriots defense came out looking a step too slow. A long pass on the first series was originally ruled out of bounds, but after a quick discussion the receiver was ruled in, bringing the Dolphins out to their own 40.

From there, it was a matter of carving up the middle of the Patriots' defense, with some notably poor play by Gary Guyton allowing a couple big plays--though an over-the-shoulder catch to tight end Anthony Fasano is hard to blame on him. After getting a key 4th-and-1 conversion on a strong push up the middle, Chad Henne would bring the Dolphins just a couple yards from the end zone before being pulled back by a holding call, setting up a 3rd-and-goal situation from well out of the end zone. It was then that Tony Sparano opened up his bag of tricks, calling for a quarterback draw. The unexpected call was perfect. With the defense spreading out to try and cover a wide swath of territory, there was an easy alley up the middle allowing Henne to push right through for the touchdown.

It took almost no time at all for the Patriots to respond. With a 2nd-and-2 situation, Brady took a deep shot, and it paid off, as he found Matthew Slater for 42 yards over the middle. With a quick pass to Rob Gronkowski bringing the Pats within five yards of the end zone, Brady handed off to BenJarvus Green-Ellis who made a cut in the backfield, plowed into a couple defenders, spun off, planted his hand, and threw himself into the end zone for the equalizer.