Patriots-Dolphins: Live updates as New England looks to spoil Miami’s playoff hopes

2:00, 2nd quarter: CBS shows Stephon Gilmore needing two people help him walk to the locker room after his apparent knee injury. Obviously not a good sign for the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.

Our on-site producer @AnthonyBiase with this snapshot of Stephon Gilmore headed into the locker room. #Patriots
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) December 20, 2020

The Patriots ruled Gilmore doubtful to return today.
3:28, 2nd quarter: It didn’t look good for Stephon Gilmore, who remained down after a play and had to be helped off the field. The cornerback went down in coverage without any contact as he slipped on the turf. He looked to be clutching at his right knee.

Here’s the Stephon Gilmore injury. #Patriots
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) December 20, 2020

4:18, 2nd quarter: Momentum sapped — almost.
Cam Newton tried to run for a first down on third-and-8 deep in Miami territory, but it turned into disaster. As he headed toward the right sideline, Newton was stripped, the ball somehow stayed in bounds, and Xavien Howard picked it up and brought it back 86 yards for a touchdown.
But after a closer review, the replay showed that the loose ball touched Miami’s Christian Wilkins as he had a foot out of bounds. By rule, that’s a dead ball and it’s returned to the Patriots.
A massively lucky break for Newton and the Patriots, as Nick Folk boots home a 36-yard field goal. Instead of a 7-3 deficit, the Patriots lead 6-0.

Holy smokes. What a break.
6-0 #Patriots at 4:15 left, 2nd Q.
Folk’s 36-yard field goal becomes a 10-point swing.
— Andrew Callahan (@_AndrewCallahan) December 20, 2020

8:50, 2nd quarter: The Patriots settle for a field goal after a promising drive. Nick Folk’s 45-yarder is good to make it 3-0.
Sony Michel kickstarted the drive with a 17-yard scamper down the left sideline as the Pats’ short passing game got them down the field. Cam Newton got a bit lucky on a throw to Jakobi Meyers — nearly getting picked off by former Patriot Kyle Van Noy — and his third-down pass to N’Keal Harry was too high to stall the 13-play drive that started at their own 5.
0:00, 1st quarter: Stephon Gilmore didn’t coin him “Mr. INT” for nothing.
The Dolphins are depleted at their offensive skills positions today, but it didn’t look like it as they drove from their own 2 to inside the Patriots’ 5. But facing third and goal, Tua Tagovailoa’s pass intended for Lynn Bowden on the right sideline was picked off by J.C. Jackson for his eighth interception of the season.

Great pressure by Chase Winovich on the INT. Made the whole play. His playing time was cut in half last week at the Rams.
— Andrew Callahan (@_AndrewCallahan) December 20, 2020

The first quarter ends with the biggest play of the game thus far, and both teams still scoreless. The Patriots start from their own 4.

Interception no. 8⃣ for J.C.!
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 20, 2020

9:20, 1st quarter: The Patriots get something going offensively as Cam Newton finds Jakobi Meyers for 11 and Sony Michel, starting for the injured Damien Harris, finds space for 16, but the drive stalls out at midfield.
Jake Bailey flips the field position and pins the Dolphins at their own 2. Nice play from Matthew Slater to walk the tightrope of the end zone to keep the ball in.
11:30, 1st quarter: Terrific open-field tackle from Shilique Calhoun, who brings down Patrick Laird just short of the first-down marker on third down. The Dolphins are challenging the spot but still a really nice play from the Patriots linebacker, who’s back from injured reserve.
The Dolphins lost the challenge and punt it away.
13:23, 1st quarter: The Patriots’ first offensive drive goes absolutely nowhere — and actually backwards. Cam Newton’s option to Sony Michel and screen pass to Damiere Byrd go for negative yardage, and Jake Bailey blasts a punt out as they go three and out.
Pregame: Over the years, Miami has grown into a house of horrors for the Patriots, who have lost several late-season games with playoff implications down in South Florida.
But if the Pats have their way, Sunday will be remembered as a nightmare for their hosts.
The Patriots can essentially dash the Dolphins’ postseason hopes with a win today. Miami is slated as 1.5-point favorite, dogged by injuries at its skill positions. Dolphins wide receivers DeVante Parker and Jakeem Grant have been ruled inactive, along with tight end Mike Gesicki. In all, Miami is down its top five leading receivers.
However, former Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts, both listed as questionable, are active for the NFL’s No. 2 scoring defense.
The Pats left running back Damien Harris (ankle) and wide receiver Donte Moncrief (thigh) back home in New England, after both were listed as questionable on the team’s injury report. The other 12 players deemed questionable Friday are all available, including offensive tackle Jermaine Eluemunor. The veteran backup has been playing in a rotation with rookie Justin Herron in recent weeks.
Undrafted rookie running back J.J. Taylor will like see some action today, splitting carries with Sony Michel and James White. Taylor has not played since Week 3.
Outside linebacker Shilique Calhoun should make also his return, having been activated off injured reserve on Saturday. He hasn’t played since the Patriots won at the Jets on Nov. 9. Calhoun’s presence figures to sharpen the Pats’ pass rush, which will be after rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa all afternoon.
Both teams’ complete inactives are below.
RB Damien Harris
WR Donte Moncrief
QB Brian Hoyer
TE Jordan Thomas
CB Joejuan Williams
TE Mike Gesicki
WR DeVante Parker
WR Jakeem Grant
OG Ereck Flowers
DE Jason Strowbridge
FB Chandler Cox

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