FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots have a brand new quarterback issue.

Jimmy Garoppolo threw three touchdown passes before leaving in the second quarter because of a right shoulder injury as the New England Patriots outlasted the Miami Dolphins 31-24 on Sunday.

It was the Patriots’ eighth straight home victory over Miami (0-2). But it came at a price as New England (2-0) was dealt another blow at quarterback, with Tom Brady already serving a four-game suspension.

Garoppolo’s injury came on third down with less than five minutes left in the first half. He was chased out of the pocket and got off a completion to Malcolm Mitchell but was driven into the ground on his shoulder by Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso.

Garoppolo initially got up before going down to one knee and being attended to by the training staff. He ended his day 18 of 27 for 234 yards and the three scores.

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, never one to reveal much information, said of Garoppolo’s injury: “I don’t know yet. So we’ll take it day by day.”


Garoppolo was replaced by rookie Jacoby Brissett, who led New England on a five-play, 68-yard touchdown drive on its first possession of the second half, following a Dolphins fumble. Brissett was 6 of 9 for 92 yards. LeGarrette Blount rushed 29 times for 123 yards and a touchdown, and Martellus Bennett had five catches for 114 and a touchdown.

The Dolphins, who beat the Patriots in Miami in last season’s finale, had no answers for New England’s offense early and fell into a 24-0 hole as they were stymied by three turnovers. Then Ryan Tannehill finally found some traction and trimmed a 31-3 deficit to 31-24 with 6:06 to play.

Tannehill didn’t complete a pass until the second quarter as the Patriots’ defensive line pressured him into quick throws. The pressure culminated with Tannehill being intercepted by linebacker Jamie Collins late in the first half.

“We couldn’t get anything going,” Tannehill said. “We kept putting our defense back on the field after long drives. It’s tough on the defense. … We need to get points on the board early – and give our defense a break.”

Tannehill found Kenny Stills for a 24-yard touchdown in the third quarter and connected with Jordan Cameron for a 12-yard score in the fourth. Kenyan Drake also had a 7-yard touchdown run as Miami closed the gap.

Tannehill completed 20 of his first 21 passes to begin the second half.


The usually reliable Stephen Gostkowski missed a 39-yard field goal that would have given the Patriots a 34-24 lead with 1:08 to play, and Miami quickly drove to the New England 29. But Duron Harmon intercepted Tannehill’s pass in the back of the end zone with 2 seconds remaining.

Tannehill finished 32 of 45 for 389 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

“We were in a tough situation,” Tannehill said. “At that point, you can go one of two ways. You can either pack it up for the day, or battle. And those guys battled. That’s what you want to see.”

QUICK START: Garoppolo had touchdown passes on each of the Patriots’ first three drives to build a 21-0 lead.

He had four completions of more than 10 yards on the opening drive, capping it with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola. New England’s second drive mirrored the first, with Garoppolo finding Chris Hogan for gains of 19 and 24 yards. The series ended with a 20-yard scoring strike to Bennett.

SPREADING THE WEALTH: New England made do without injured tight end Rob Gronkowski (hamstring), as Garoppolo completed passes to seven receivers before his injury, including six to Julian Edelman.

Bennett, primarily used as a blocker in the season-opening win at Arizona, had an early 26-yard reception to go with his 20-yard touchdown grab in the first quarter.

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