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Sports

October 26, 2013

Dolphins, Patriots meet, hoping to end slumps

FOXBOROUGH — The Miami Dolphins lost their last three games. The New England Patriots are just one last-minute touchdown away from being in the same slump.

Their quarterbacks haven’t been real sharp, either.

Ryan Tannehill threw two interceptions and lost a fumble that led to the decisive field goal in Miami’s 23-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills last Sunday. Tom Brady completed fewer than half his passes for the third time, a single-season high, in New England’s 30-27 loss to the New York Jets on an overtime field goal.

So Sunday’s game between the Patriots (5-2) and Dolphins (3-3) looms as a key matchup in the AFC East, a division New England has dominated for a decade. The Jets (4-3) play at Cincinnati.

“Who knows how anything is going to turn out?” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. The Dolphins “had three good wins to start the season and they’ve had a couple tough weeks. We can certainly relate to that.”

Tannehill has been troubled by poor protection and questionable decision making. And his right shoulder is sore.

“We are a group that is facing adversity and we have to respond,” he said. “Myself, I just have to keep my head down and keep pushing.”

Tannehill did throw a career-high three touchdown passes against the Bills. But he also had an interception returned for a touchdown, just like Brady did against the Jets.

That was far from Brady’s only errant throw in that game.

“There are definitely times where I need to put more arc on the ball. That definitely helps. Sometimes it is decision making and sometimes it is execution and throws,” he said. “When we don’t hit them, you always evaluate them and you think, ‘Man I’ve got to do a better job. I wish I put a little more on this one.’”

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