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Sidelights to the game

Best and worsts

* Worst impersonation of a wide receiver: Patriot tackle Tom Ashworth, 6 feet 6 inches and 305 pounds, being called for pass interference in the second quarter. The penalty negated a Christian Fauria touchdown.

* Best/worst indication that flexible marriages exist: A sign near the Patriots bench on which a man offers to leave his wife and children for a woman who has World Series tickets.

* Best Patriots coach in Miami: Dolphins offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who tried to surprise the Patriots by giving the ball to fullback Obafemi Ayanbadejo in the second quarter. Ricky Williams had run for 9 yards on the previous play to get Miami to the Patriots' 3-yard line. Ayanbadejo lost 2 yards on the carry and the Dolphins settled for a field goal.

* Best wardrobe change: Watching the grounds crew convert a football stadium into a baseball stadium for Game 3 of the World Series tomorrow night.

* Best bet: Dolphins backup quarterback Brian Griese starting a game in the next couple weeks.

* Worst percentage: .000. Bill Belichick wasn't successful challenging the officials. He thought Ricky Williams was down in the fourth quarter and the officials disagreed. He also challenged a Tom Brady fumble that was not overturned.

* Best acrobat: Miami receiver Derrius Thompson, who reached over Eugene Wilson and caught a 31-yard sideline pass from Jay Fieldler. The Patriots thought Thompson ran out of bounds before making the catch.

Fast facts

* New England's win was its first in Miami in September or October after 13 consecutive losses. The Patriots had not won at Pro Player Stadium since Dec. 22, 1997 (14-12).

* In 13 previous games at Miami in September and October, the Patriots had been outscored by an average of 27-13.

* Brady's winning pass to Brown was the longest play against the Dolphins since Drew Bledsoe and Ben Coates connected on an 84-yard touchdown Nov. 3, 1996, at Foxboro Stadium.

* Jason Taylor's sack gave him 60 1/2 for his career and moved him into fourth place on the Dolphins' career list, ahead of Jeff Cross.

* Miami's Williams did not score a touchdown for the first time in seven games.

* Randy McMichael established career highs with eight receptions for 102 yards -- the first 100-yard game by a Miami tight end since Keith Jackson had 109 Jan. 8, 1995, at San Diego.

* The Patriots did not allow a first-quarter touchdown for the sixth straight game. On the other hand, they've scored in the first quarter of each of those games.

Quoteboard

"That was probably the most exciting game I've ever been a part of. It was unbelievable. The fans got their money's worth."-- Patriots safety Rodney Harrison

"You've got your hands on a man's butt that weighs over 300 pounds. It's a massive amount of humanity that you just have to keep pushing. There are no words to describe it."-- Tedy Bruschi, on pushing Richard Seymour toward his blocked field goal in the final minutes of regulation

"This game gives us a very satisfied feeling, but we really haven't accomplished anything yet. We have nine games left."-- Belichick

"Hopefully the fans can get through [the loss], too. Maybe the Marlins can give them something to be happy about."-- Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas

"Tough, tough loss. Very difficult."-- Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt

"He's automatic."-- Ricky Williams on Olindo Mare, who came into the game as the second-most-accurate kicker in league history

"It's a blessing. Go Marlins."-- Seymour, referring to the Marlins' participating in the World Series. The infield dirt at Pro Player Stadium may have contributed to Mare's two missed field goals (one blocked).

Injury report

Patriots

Tedy Bruschi (unknown), returnedMatt Chatham (right leg), returnedBethel Johnson (right leg), returnedDan Klecko (unknown), returned

Dolphins

Larry Chester (left shoulder), returnedJay Fiedler (left knee), returnedJunior Seau (left hamstring), did not returnJason Taylor (right elbow), returned

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