Damien Harris’ red-zone fumble allows Dolphins to escape 17-16

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots
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Patriots running back Damien Harris rushed for 100 yards. That’s not what anyone is going to remember.

Harris lost a fumble at Miami’s 9-yard line with 3:31 remaining and the Patriots trailing by one point. New England never saw the ball again, losing 17-16 to the Dolphins.

The Dolphins have sole possession of first place in the AFC East since the Jets and Bills lost early games Sunday.

The Patriots led for only 2 minutes, 30 seconds Sunday, with rookie Mac Jones throwing his first touchdown pass with that much time left in the first half. But Jason Sanders tied it on the final play of the first half with a 48-yard field goal.

The Patriots had a chance for the lead with a nine-play, 41-yard drive into the red zone. But Eric Rowe forced the Harris fumble and Xavien Howard recovered it for the Dolphins.

In four red zone trips, the Patriots scored 13 points. Nick Folk kicked field goals of 27, 42 and 33 yards Sunday.

The Dolphins picked up two first downs, overcoming a holding penalty on the first snap of the possession, to run out the clock.

Tua Tagovailoa completed 16 of 27 passes for 202 yards with a touchdown and an interception. His 36-yard completion to Jaylen Waddle was the longest of the quarterback’s career. He also threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Waddle and ran for a 3-yard score.

Jones, the 15th overall choice, was 29-of-39 for 281 yards and a touchdown. Nelson Agholor caught five passes for 72 yards and a touchdown.

55 responses to “Damien Harris’ red-zone fumble allows Dolphins to escape 17-16

  1. The Pats are a team to be noticed. They kept Jones under wraps and he did all he had to do to win this game. Pats win the division as they let him do his thing.

  2. Boom! That was a hard fought game and a bit sloppy at times. Tua looked a little flustered at times but that’s to be expected with the first game of the season. A good road win for the Fins! Mac Jones looked pretty legit but it’s all about the win baby! Only AFC East team with a win this weekend!

    Phins Up!

  3. That was bad by Harris. Pats were jobbed in the first half on a fumble that wasn’t a fumble along with a phantom holding call that became a 4 point swing in favor of Miami. Very suspicious penalties and even more suspicious the refs call the wrong jersey number and still don’t know the rules.

    NE outplayed em and Jones was aomething like 9/11 on 3rd downs.

    Veey good start for him protecting the ball and good contributions from
    the new players as well.

  4. Belichick adds to his legacy; losing record without Brady at quarterback. 7-10, and that’s being kind

  5. It was a tight win, but I`ll take it! The Dolphins HAVE to do better next week against a pissed-off Bills team, though. Glad the game is in Miami.

  6. Sloppy football by the Patriots. Hopefully the clean things up fast. Their margin for error is slim.

  7. ResCalc says:
    September 12, 2021 at 7:35 pm
    And NOBODY, but us Phin Phans, thought this could happen. LMAO!

    What, get a lucky win?

  8. I love all the trash talk of the Pats fans before the game to be turned into “it’s the refs” talk after. All I know is a win is a win. Doesn’t matter how ugly it is. Hopefully these Pats fans sleep well tonight with a belly full of crow 🙂

  9. Mac Jones looked real good. The reasons why they lost can be fixed. I always felt that the first game of the year is almost a toss up.

  10. Mac-achusetts looked good but that fumble sucked and then the D could not step up and get it done.

    Plus too many dumb penalties.

    Billy boy has a lotta work to do.

  11. Dolphins won the game, Pats won the future with clearly the better quarterback. Much like Dan Marino’s first start. The team that lost is far better off because they have a legit quarterback.

  12. Look at the Patriot fans crying and throwing insults. Belichick was badly outcoached. The magic is gone.

  13. Got to secure the ball when the games on the line. Bad mistake. Too many fumbles in the game overall

  14. Touchback6 just cut and paste each week. I’ll save you time. Pats got robbed. Jones is getting better. BB still has his fast ball. TB12 who??Refs,Refs,Refs Refs…rinse and repeat

  15. We like Applebee’s on a date night. That’s how we do, how we do. Fancy Like. Oooooh! 🐬

  16. A loss to a division rival is never ever a good thing how ever it looks like the Pats have a QB .It should be a fun fall and winter around here even if it does not extend beyond Christmas.

  17. Both Pats lines were worse than I thought they’d be. Jones was very good, especially converting a ton of third downs. Rhamondre Stevenson never appeared again after being called for a (questionable) fumble early in the game, so what happens to Harris after fumbling in the red zone near the end of the game? I hate to think.

    Agholor was solid, which was a relief after all the drops in preseason. Nice to see a bit of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. Pats really need to clean up the penalties and ball control issues.

    Dolphins had a good game plan and executed well. Fewer mental errors made difference too.

  18. Mac Jones looked pretty solid, didn’t look flustered at all. Harris was aggressive early, but that fumble won’t sit well with Belichick at all. Tua I thought was decent, very tight game with a very small margin of error. Pats should rebound next week against the lowly Jets, but this one stung no doubt.

  19. Pats fans overhyped their team. It’s a good D and running game – not a great D and running game.

    I was impressed w/ Jones, but more as a game manager. With another coach, that could have been a bad game – but BB knows how to put players in positions where they can succeed. He’s all about the short game & easy passes.

  20. Losing to a division rival at home always hurts, but the Dolphins deserve credit on the win– their D came up big in the red zone when they needed it and their offense was able to pick up first downs consistently.

    As for the Patriots, the goal is to get better as a team each week so that you’re playing your best as the standings start to work themselves out. They missed a golden opportunity today to pick up a W, but there were still some positives. Jones was accurate, and while he made a couple of mistakes he’ll hopefully learn from it didn’t cost them. We also saw some production out of the two new TEs which was great. They took too many penalties, the defense was really solid on a few series but porous on others, and obviously ball security is an issue. The good news is all those things are fixable through coaching.

    It’s going to be an entertaining season for the Patriots, and there will be lots of close games like this– hopefully we’ll see a more Ws than Ls.

  21. flash1224 says:
    September 12, 2021 at 7:44 pm
    ResCalc says:
    September 12, 2021 at 7:35 pm
    And NOBODY, but us Phin Phans, thought this could happen. LMAO!

    What, get a lucky win?

    ————

    Yup. The pats never got a lucky win in their history.

  22. flash1224 says:
    September 12, 2021 at 7:44 pm

    ResCalc says:
    September 12, 2021 at 7:35 pm
    And NOBODY, but us Phin Phans, thought this could happen. LMAO!

    What, get a lucky win?

    =====================================

    I’d rather win with luck, than by CHEATING. I feel your pain. 🙂
    Phins > Pats

  23. How often do rookie QBs win their first ever professional regular season game ever? I’m asking. Has the majority done so, or is it less than 50%?
    Barring major injuries, anyone who thought this game was going to be a cakewalk by either team doesn’t follow the NFL enough.
    Former Patriots defensive coach Brian Flores had proven himself prior to today. He a bright guy who knows how to game plan and strategize. And he and his GM both know what they’re doing.

    Instead of just hyping Buffalo, key your eye on both Miami and NE.
    And just imagine the possibilities once Jones gets some experience.
    I just love (I’m lying) sports journalists, insiders and fans who base all their thoughts and predictions on last year.
    If someone back around week 3 or 4 of 2020 had said Tampa could win the Super Bowl and explained why, then I would have been impressed, but back then it was all about KC and the other favourites.
    How difficult is that.

    As for today, you can’t have 3 personal foul penalties in addition to two fumbles and expect to win.
    I wouldn’t want to be Shaw Mason, Damien Harris and a few other Patriots right now.

    To quote BB, we’re onto New York.
    Btw, with a Buffalo win and a Jets loss next Sunday,
    there would be a 3 way tie for first. 😳
    Nothing to see here folks.

  24. So much for plugging in any QB to the ‘system’ – Brady WAS the system. As a head coach, Bill was sub .500 pre-Brady and is now sub-.500 post Brady…speaks for itself with Brady at 43 in his FIRST season with a NEW team and easily winning the super bowl! Now on his way to #8. BB should give his pathetic boat with the ring count on the back to the guy who actually EARNED those rings in SPITE of working with a LOSING head coach….uh, that would be BRADY. Case closed.

  25. billsrthefuture says:
    September 12, 2021 at 8:11 pm

    Pats fans overhyped their team. It’s a good D and running game – not a great D and running game.

    I was impressed w/ Jones, but more as a game manager. With another coach, that could have been a bad game – but BB knows how to put players in positions where they can succeed. He’s all about the short game & easy passes.

    ————

    Such great insight about Jones being only a game manager. The fact that he didn’t come out in his first career start as a rookie and call the offense from the line of scrimmage is borderline embarrassing! Throwing for 281, 1TD, no INTs and nearly 75% completion is SO pedestrian! I mean, compare that to a gunslinger like Josh Allen who in his first career start set the league on fire completing 54.5% for 245, with 1 TD and 2 ints. It’s going to be a long climb for the meager game manager, Mac Jones.

  26. “Instead of just hyping Buffalo, key your eye on both Miami and NE”
    ______________________

    Too much Buffalo hype after 1 year?

    Try 20.

  27. Miami’s defense impressed me with their perseverance given the 2 to 1 time of possession difference. Their offense scored TD’s to start both halves and played with a lead. They won the turnover battle and avoided penalties. Strategically, they played sound football.

    The Patriots were impressive in the passing game, kicking game, stopping the run game and getting their offense back on the field. Turnovers, penalties and being too conservative in the red zone hurt them. They have work to do.

    I expect both teams will improve and be very competitive as the season progresses.

  28. Cheat to win… “Bill
    Belicheat. Um, oh that’s right you didn’t win. Greatest thing I ever saw is when Don Shula was asked sitting in his wheelchair, Do you worry about Bill Belichick breaking your all time wins record? & He simply replied, Who, Belicheat? Classic. Rest in Peace Don. You were the Greatest of all time. #Perfect. 🐬

  29. Brian Rodriquez says:
    September 12, 2021 at 7:53 pm
    Dolphins won the game, Pats won the future with clearly the better quarterback. Much like Dan Marino’s first start. The team that lost is far better off because they have a legit quarterback.

    ________________________________________________

    Hold the reins on the 2nd coming of Dan Marino. Mac played well, but bear in mind he is protected by a very good line and they established a nice running game

  30. The Patriots beat themselves with turnovers and penalties. Mac Jones did a nice job in his first official start,but they have lots of things to tighten up. Practice should be pretty rough this week.

  31. 1dayatatime says:
    September 12, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    How often do rookie QBs win their first ever professional regular season game ever?

    ===========================

    Um yes, Tua did. 🙂

  32. The Dullfins didn’t win this game. The Patriots beat themselves with costly mistakes (2 turnovers and 8 penalties).
    They outgained the Dullfins 400 yds to 280 yds, and Jones outplayed Tua. Things are looking up for the Patriots for the rest of the season! Let the Mack Jones era begin!

  33. if Harris had held onto the ball as had not seen the replay pretty sure it would have been a pats win … so everyone calm down as crap happens in the first for real games n its not how you start but how you end as the rebuild started with a game being just fine from the new QB .. so lets revisit it all come game six or seven for a better look at this and all the teams with the crowds in the stands being back to help with the home field advantage.

  34. The Patriots have entered the rebuilding stage. It’s pretty amazing what Belichick & Co. have done the past 20 yrs winning 6 SBs without the benefit of high draft choices. But they have a very talented young rookie QB to build their future around, and the future looks very promising, indeed.

  35. Lots of folks on here are having a really tough time understanding that 17-16 as the final score means the Fins won. Per NFL stats and information the Pats secured a 1 in the loss column and the Dolphins secured a 1 in the win column. Just want to state that to clear up some confusion 🙂

  36. billsrthefuture says:
    September 12, 2021 at 8:11 pm
    Pats fans overhyped their team
    ——-

    And if any fan base would know about over hype it’s the Bills.

  37. The Pat’s gave the game away at the end the Harris fumble you wont beat a highschool team like that let alone the mighty Miami dolphins lol

  38. It’s one game, there’s no need to freak out. Mac looked as good as advertised and the defense had its moments but overall The dolphins were the better team and made plays when it mattered. That fumble by Damien Harris was a huge killer but at least they didn’t get blown out. As the season goes the team will get better, This Pats fan is excited to see how the season progresses.

  39. Meh. It is week 1. Miami had some key plays fall in their favor. It happens. I wouldn’t be too high or low if I was a fan of either team. I see a lot of Miami fans beating their chests over this one, but it was a one point game and a game you were probably pretty likely to have lost. Better to win ugly than to lose pretty, though. 1 down, 16 to go.

  40. What’s hilarious is, Pats fans out of all fan bases complaining about being robbed by the refs! Now that is hilarious! For goodness sake, you’ll got like every favorable call for the past 20 years……. even got some BS calls yesterday!

  41. Marino never dinked and dunked. Nice try.
    ———————
    He also never won a SuperBowl.
    I’ll take the open man for 5 yards all day long. Why? I watched it lead to 6 SB wins.
    ESPN highlights or Duck boats?

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