Patriots trail Dolphins 17-7 at halftime

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins
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The Patriots aren’t getting help from the Jets in Buffalo currently, but they aren’t doing themselves any favors either.

The Patriots trail the Dolphins 17-7 at halftime.

They fell behind 14-0 in the first 8:53 of the game as Jaylen Waddle scored on a 7-yard pass from Tua Tagovailoa and Xavien Howard returned a Mac Jones pass intended for Jakobi Meyers 37 yards for a pick-six.

It was Howard’s third career touchdown, and his first pick-six since 2017.

The Dolphins added a 30-yard Jason Sanders field goal after officials helped Miami with a phantom penalty on Brandon Bolden.

The Dolphins attempted a fake punt on fourth-and-three at their own 43. Punter Michael Palardy slid down 2 yards short of the line to gain, and Bolden dove over the top of him. Although Bolden made no contact, he was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness.

CBS rules analyst Gene Steratore said, “You wouldn’t want to see a foul on this play, but this play is really a difficult play to referee in real time.”

Bolden later got the Patriots on the scoreboard with a 15-yard touchdown run.

Jones is 8-of-15 for 107 yards, while Tagovailoa went 12-of-17 for 92 yards and a touchdown.