The only thing that stood between the Patriots and the No. 2 seed was the defense holding pat against journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and the 4-11 Dolphins.
The clock read 3:53. It should’ve been easy. On this day, however, nothing was in a matchup that should’ve been lopsided. Instead, it ended in disaster.
As it was seen all game long, it wasn’t going to be easy for the Patriots. This final Dolphins drive reinforced that notion. Fitzpatrick got the Dolphins downfield by hitting DeVante Parker for a 24-yard gain to get near the red zone. With 1:10 remaining, the quarterback, on third-and-5, hit Albert Wilson for a 7-yard gain. Two plays later, with 35 seconds left, Fitzpatrick hit Isaiah Ford for a gain of four to set up a first-and-goal from the 5.
With 24 seconds remaining, Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki beat Patrick Chung for a 5-yard touchdown to give Miami a 27-24 win. The Patriots final offensive possession ended with Tom Brady’s unit gaining one first down. His final pass, with two seconds left, resulted in a failed hook-and-lateral play.
The Patriots fall to 12-4 in one of the most shocking upset losses at home in recent memory. The result could be catastrophic. The Patriots lost the No. 2 seed to the Kansas City Chiefs and will play in the wild-card round for the first time since the 2009 season.