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Patriot Victory Is Dirt Cheap

October 20, 2003|From Associated Press

MIAMI — The New England Patriots needed two missed field goals and their longest pass play of the season to finally win in the Miami heat.

Tom Brady connected with Troy Brown on an 82-yard scoring play in overtime as the Patriots beat the Miami Dolphins, 19-13, on Sunday.

The win was New England's first in the last six visits to Miami.

The Dolphins (4-2) had two chances to win the game. But Olindo Mare missed a pair of field-goal attempts on the infield dirt. The NFL's second-most accurate kicker of all time had one blocked near the end of regulation and missed one wide right in overtime -- both on dirt.

With the Florida Marlins playing the New York Yankees in the World Series, infield dirt from the baseball field remains at Pro Player Stadium. It played a key role.

"Go Marlins!" said Patriot defensive end Richard Seymour, who blocked the fourth-quarter kick.

With the victory, the Patriots (5-2) moved atop the AFC East.

The Dolphins were poised to take the lead with less than two minutes to play in regulation, but Seymour blocked Mare's 35-yard attempt.

"We can't put everything on the kicker," Dolphin center Tim Ruddy said.

"Everyone on this offense could have done more. We're disappointed, but everyone is looking at themselves and asking what they could have done better. We definitely had chances, and we didn't do enough with those chances. That's why we lost this game."

The Dolphins won a controversial coin toss in overtime.

The Patriots called tails and said the coin landed on tails. They said veteran referee Gerald Austin mistakenly turned it over as he picked it up off the ground. Austin said the players were confused about which side was which.

It worked out fine for the Patriots, though. Having lost the toss, Coach Bill Belichick instructed his team captains to make Miami drive to the end of the field with the dirt.

And Mare missed a shot to win the game when his second 35-yard attempt went wide right with 12:01 on the clock.

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