New England Patriots defeat Miami Dolphins, 20-10

Bye. See ya, Dolphins. Later, football.

The Do Not Disturb sign is on the New England locker room door for the next couple of weeks.

The Patriots are taking a brief sabbatical. The league allots for these matters by providing each of its members a week off during the course of this grueling marathon they call an NFL season.

Yesterday, the locals ensured themselves of a blissful break by wrestling away a 20-10 win over the Miami Dolphins. Despite their dismal 1-4 r...

Troy Brown, like the team he plays for, is about efficiency and patience. Yesterday you couldn't have been more efficient than the Patriot receiver was against the Miami Dolphins. As for patience, Job has nothing on Brown, either this season or throughout a long and distinguished career that added a few more lines at the expense of the Dolphins yesterday afternoon.

Five catches. Five first downs.

Three third-down conversions.

One touchdown.

Other than that who ...

Despite undergoing surgery on his broken left wrist Sept. 27, second-year cornerback Ellis Hobbs never believed his absence from the lineup would be a long one.

``I knew I was going to play, it was in my mind the whole time," Hobbs said after he suited up in the Patriots' 20-10 victory over the Dolphins yesterday. ``I just need that first initial hit. Once I got that, we were good."

After missing the game last week in Cincinnati, Hobbs lined up at cornerback and safe...

Linebacker Tedy Bruschi said the bottom line is points allowed, and in that case, the Patriots' defense has been on top of its game this season. No opponent has scored more than 17 points against New England's stingy `D.'

But still, something had been nagging the Patriots' prideful defenders.

``I think the biggest complaint we had about ourselves early on was that we weren't forcing turnovers," Bruschi said. ``We wanted to win that battle. It was a big goal for us."