The Patriots continued their brutal opening stretch of the season on Sunday night as they hosted the Dolphins a week after battling the Eagles in a close loss. Once again the Patriots defense held up pretty well against the high-octane Miami offense, but Mac Jones and the Pats offense could never get out of first gear, scoring just three points in the first three quarters as New England trailed 17-3 going into the final quarter.
The frustration with an inept offense was exacerbated for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick when Rhamondre Stevenson was ruled to have been stopped short of the sticks on a 3rd and 2 run up the middle as the Pats worked the ball deep into Miami territory. Belichick stewed on the sidelines as an official fixed the chains, waiting for confirmation he should challenge the play, and once he got word it was at least close, he spiked his red challenge flag right next to the official like an angry toddler.
"Shaq would have been proud of that dunk," Cris Collinsworth.
"The disgusted challenge flag thrown by Bill," Mike Tirico.
Bill Belichick was not happy to have to challenge this spot. He lost the challenge but the Pats picked up the first down. pic.twitter.com/pZThxVX0z5
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 18, 2023
Unfortunately for Belichick, his emphatic challenge toss was not met with an overturn as the call stood on the field due to a lack of indisputable evidence. Mac Jones would sneak it for the first down on the 4th and inches attempt, but then promptly tossed an interception to ruin all that hard work, which certainly only further left Belichick on tilt on the sidelines.
HUGE INT @Dolphins 😱
— NFL (@NFL) September 18, 2023
The Pats would drive down for their first touchdown to open the fourth quarter and ease some of the tension in Gillette, but still had work to do to reel in the Fins.