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The Dolphins pulled off a miracle win thanks to Rob Gronkowski’s awful tackling angle

For The Win logo For The Win 12/9/2018 Andrew Joseph
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For years, it had seemed like the New England Patriots were impervious to non-Eli-related pain. While other fanbases dealt with heartbreaking losses on a regular basis, the Patriots were overcoming 25-point Super Bowl deficits or avoiding 1-yard runs to Marshawn Lynch.

Maybe Super Bowl LII changed something in New England because on Sunday, the Dolphins pulled off the incredible. They won the game on one of those hook-and-ladder (and continued lateral) plays that never work because it's the NFL. But it worked here mainly because the Patriots played the very predictable situation so terribly.

The Dolphins were trailing by five points from their own 30-yard line, needing a touchdown to win the game.

Ryan Tannehill had battled shoulder injuries for much of this season, so it would have been asking a lot to have him throw 70-plus yards on the fly. It wasn't going to happen - they needed a lateral play. But what did the Patriots do?

THEY BROUGHT IN ROB GRONKOWSKI.

Why?

The only reason to bring in Gronk would be to knock down a Hail Mary heave into the end zone. That wasn't going to be the play, and instead, the Patriots were left with one less tackler on the field when Kenyan Drake broke free off a couple laterals.

Like, look at this angle:

a group of football players on a field: File Photo © File Photo File Photo

And that stumble:

a group of football players on the field: File Photo © File Photo File Photo

Bill Belichick is an all-time great coach - there's no disputing that. But all the Patriots needed to do was shove Drake out of bounds, but Belichick had one player in there who wouldn't be capable of doing so.

It was the most un-Patriots loss we've seen in years.

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