FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Patriots still were looking at an uphill battle after opening the second half with a field goal, slicing their deficit to 17-3 in Saturday’s game against the Dolphins.
But when defensive lineman Vince Wilfork pounced on a Miami fumble at the Dolphins’ 38-yard line only 56 seconds later, New England began to roll, eventually earning a 27-24 triumph that produced a first-round bye.
Brady and the offense turned Wilfork’s recovery into a 1-yard touchdown pass to Deion Branch, giving the comeback momentum.
“That was huge, huge,” said Brady who overcame a rough first half in finishing with 27 completions in 46 attempts for 304 yards and a touchdown, not to mention two short touchdown sneaks.
“We didn’t turn it over today. I thought that was important. We got turnovers [including a Devin McCourty interception]. Really the last seven games that has been a huge key for us. It’s hard to win games when you turn it over. We were the benefactor of some good plays by our defense that I thought the offense capitalized [on] when we got those plays. When we got short fields we did a good job of getting the ball in the end zone,” he said.
The Patriots are now 102-4 since 2001 when they win the turnover battle.
“I thought we executed better in the second half,” Brady said. “We just had a hard time getting going. We oviously didn’t play very well in the first half. I think we made a pretty big commitment at halftime to each other to go out and everyone do their job and quit worrying about everybody else. [Just] go out and play better and we did that.”