FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Even when they look sluggish, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots still dominate.

Brady threw for 356 yards and four touchdowns — two to Julian Edelman — and the Patriots beat the Miami Dolphins 36-7 on Thursday night to become the first of the NFL’s five unbeaten teams to reach seven wins.

Stephen Gostkowski broke Adam Vinatieri’s franchise record for consecutive field goals by connecting from 52 and 36 yards to make it 26 in a row. Rob Gronkowski had 113 yards receiving and a touchdown, and Dion Lewis had 93 yards receiving and one score.

The loss was the first for Miami (3-4) under interim coach Dan Campbell. The Dolphins scored 82 points in wins over the lowly Titans and Texans in Campbell’s first two games after replacing Joe Philbin.

But they were completely overmatched against the defending Super Bowl champions.

It could be an even bigger loss for the Dolphins because four-time Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake was carted off the field with an Achilles tendon injury.


The Patriots are 7-0 for the second time in franchise history and first time since going 16-0 in 2007. They’ve scored at least 28 points in every game and 30 or more in six straight.

A week after setting an NFL record with 25 straight completions, Ryan Tannehill had a rough night against New England. He threw two interceptions and no TDs.

Brady connected with Gronkowski for a 47-yard scoring pass on the opening drive, but the Patriots managed a total of 65 yards on their next five possessions.

They went up 9-0 on a safety after center Mike Pouncey snapped the ball before Tannehill was ready on a third down from the 9.

Then Brady got going in the 2-minute offense. He completed all four of his passes for 59 yards on a scoring drive that was capped by a 16-yard toss to Lewis for a 19-0 lead.

Tannehill led the Dolphins into the end zone to start the second half with Lamar Miller scoring on a 1-yard run.


But the Patriots took control in the fourth quarter. Brady threw TD passes of 10 and 16 yards to Edelman to put it out of reach.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft got a huge roar from the crowd when he took a verbal shot at the Colts during a speech honoring Willie McGinest on Thursday night.

“There’s nothing more satisfying than saddling the Indianapolis Colts with a loss, something the Patriots did 16 times in Willie McGinest’s career,” Kraft said after the two-time Pro Bowl linebacker was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame at halftime of New England’s game against Miami.

The rivalry between the Patriots and Colts intensified because of the “Deflategate” scandal, which began when Indianapolis reported New England was using underinflated balls during the AFC championship game last January.

Belichick, Campbell shared same mentor

Dan Campbell can only hope sharing a mentor with Bill Belichick will lead to similar success.


Like Belichick, Campbell learned from Bill Parcells. The Hall of Fame coach had great influence on the two men who face each other for the first time Thursday night when Belichick’s unbeaten New England Patriots (6-0) host Campbell and the Miami Dolphins (3-3).

While Belichick has paved his way to Canton by winning four Super Bowls in New England, Campbell is off to a great start. He won his first two games as Miami’s interim coach after replacing Joe Philbin.

“Bill Belichick is one of the greatest coaches that’s ever coached,” Campbell said. “That’s just the bottom line. I don’t look at it as me vs. him. This is the Miami Dolphins vs. the New England Patriots.”

That’s probably similar to what Parcells said before a matchup against Bill Walsh or Chuck Noll many years ago.

Campbell played three seasons for Parcells in Dallas from 2003-05 and began his coaching career in Miami in 2010 when Parcells was still in the Dolphins’ front office.

Decades earlier, Belichick worked under Parcells for 12 seasons with the Giants, Patriots and Jets in the 1980s and 90s before he took over in New England in 2000.


How much did Parcells influence Belichick’s coaching career?

“Quite a bit. Bill and I were together for a long time,” Belichick said. “I think Bill has got a lot of strengths. One of them would be the big picture. What are the three, four, five most important things we have to do this year, this week to be a good team? I mean, there are a thousand things, but he would identify what the big things were and concentrate on those. You can’t lose sight of those.”

The 39-year-old Campbell coached tight ends his first four seasons as an assistant before getting promoted when Philbin was dismissed after a 1-3 start. He quickly got the Dolphins back on track with consecutive wins over the Titans and Texans.

But now they face a difficult part of their schedule with four of five games on the road. After playing the Patriots, they play at Buffalo, at Philadelphia, host Dallas and visit the Jets. It’s a brutal stretch that doesn’t get easier at the end with games against the Giants, Colts and another one vs. the Patriots ahead.

But the Dolphins are a different team now, a confident one thanks to the attitude adjustment Campbell instilled.

“Dan’s enthusiasm and passion for the game, his energy and competitive drive is just contagious and it’s transferred over to the team and we’ve been really playing that way lately,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said.

One of the first people Campbell spoke to after taking the job was Parcells.

“He’s been a huge asset for me,” Campbell said. “Obviously, I have a ton of respect for Bill and any advice that he gives and he’s somebody that I will continue to talk to.”

Parcells’ advice? “’Be you and change things up,’” Campbell said.

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