Patriots-Dolphins halftime notes

MIAMI -- The New England Patriots are leading the Miami Dolphins, 17-10, at halftime.

Here are some notes at intermission:

  • Miami is putting forth a game effort. But penalties, mistakes and turnovers have provided too many opportunities for the Patriots. A botched punt by Miami’s Brandon Fields gave the Patriots great field position in the red zone to score their first touchdown. A roughing the punter penalty on fourth down by Dolphins defensive back Jimmy Wilson also provided another possession for New England to score its second touchdown. A fumble by Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill also led to a Patriots field goal.

  • Patriots receiver Wes Welker is having a huge game. He has 10 receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown in the first half. Miami’s cornerback depth is extremely thin. The Dolphins traded Vontae Davis in the summer and starter Richard Marshall (back) was put on injured reserve. Outside of Sean Smith, the Dolphins don’t have any players who can cover, and New England is taking advantage.

  • Miami lost starting left tackle Jake Long with a triceps injury in the first quarter. His return was deemed “questionable” by the Dolphins. Long is replaced by rookie Jonathan Martin, who switched from the right side. Nate Garner is playing right tackle.

  • Unrelated to this game, New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has three interceptions in the first half against the Arizona Cardinals. With Tim Tebow (ribs) inactive, the Jets have to stick with Sanchez or risk playing third-stringer Greg McElroy. As the AFC East blog reported this week, Sanchez is guaranteed $8.25 million in 2013, which is starting quarterback money. Can the Jets keep that kind of salary on the bench if they find an upgrade? Or will the Jets sink or swim with Sanchez next year?