Patrick Chung blocked two kicks and returned an interception for a touchdown, and the New England Patriots scored twice on special teams to beat the hapless Miami Dolphins, 41-14, on Monday night in Miami.
Tom Brady was held to 153 yards passing, and Randy Moss went without a catch for the first time since 2006, but the NFL’s highest-scoring team still put up its biggest point total yet this season.
The Patriots trailed 7-6 at halftime, but when Brandon Tate returned the second half kickoff 103 yards for a score, the deluge was on. Chung blocked a punt to set up a touchdown, then blocked a field goal try that Kyle Arrington returned 35 yards for a score.
Chung, a former Oregon Ducks star, returned an interception 51 yards for New England’s final score.
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Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes have something in common aside from their touchdown that won the 2009 Super Bowl. Both came off four-game NFL suspensions Monday.
Roethlisberger returned to the Pittsburgh Steelers, while Holmes is back with the New York Jets. They were among seven players whose bans ended, including last season’s top defensive rookie, Houston’s Brian Cushing.
“I couldn’t wait to get here,” Roethlisberger said.
Roethlisberger was accused of sexually assaulting a Georgia college student in a bar March 5. He was suspended under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Meanwhile, the NFL suspended San Diego strong safety Steve Gregory four games without pay for violating its policy on performance-enhancing substances.
VICK DAY TO DAY
Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick injured rib cartilage early against Washington that may force him to miss at least the Eagles’ game Sunday at San Francisco.
“This is going to be one of those day-to-day, week-to-week (injuries),” Eagles coach Andy Reid said.
Titans defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil was fined $40,000 for his obscene gesture at game officials. Packers rookie safety Morgan Burnett is out for the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament against Detroit. Tennessee lost rookie defensive end Derrick Morgan for the season with an ACL tear against Denver. Carolina will be without star wide receiver Steve Smith against Chicago because he has a high ankle sprain. The Chargers placed outside linebacker Jyles Tucker on injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle, ending his season. Buffalo cornerback Terrence McGee will miss at least two weeks after what the team called a “surgical procedure” on his left leg.