Originally posted on The Rap Sheet  |  Last updated 12/24/11
The Patriots offense received a little shake-up, with Matt Light being a surprise inactive. That meant Logan Mankins would start at left tackle, which is interesting. But, first… the defense. The Patriots came out in their regular 4-3 look, even with Andre Carter being out. Shaun Ellis was the starting defensive end in Carter’s place, and he started fast with a sack. But the defense allowed a 39-yard pass play by QB Matt Moore to WR Brian Hartline, who beat CB Devin McCourty on a double move. The Dolphins made it 3-0 on a 48-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter with 10:59 left in the first quarter. As for the offense, it was like we thought. Mankins was at left tackle, Donald Thomas was a guard, and Dan Connolly was at center. When Nate Solder moved out to the third TE spot, Marcus Cannon came in at tackle. The Patriots got one first down on a 16-yarder to Wes Welker. But an overload on the left side led to a sack of Tom Brady and a punt.
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