Is Patriots stunner the worst non-playoff loss in Boston sports history?

Tom Brady was sacked by the Dolphins’ Robert Quinn on the final play of the first half.


I dare you to come up with anything more hideous and ghoulish. And the consequences are likely to be enormous.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/10/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/b1a64676ab5645f78f47977d774b40ab-b1a64676ab5645f78f47977d774b40ab-0.jpg Patriots’ loss likely ended any shot at the No. 1 seed in the AFC

The Chiefs beat the Ravens in overtime and have a two-game lead on the Patriots with three to play.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/10/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/180123_ON_022.jpg Former Red Sox closer Lee Smith elected to Hall of Fame

Smith, who pitched two-plus seasons with the Red Sox between 1988-90, joins Harold Baines as the Hall’s newest members.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davismiane9spts.jpg Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill saw Rob Gronkowski playing deep safety and said, ‘We got this!’

The Dolphins said the Patriots played right into their hands by putting the big tight end out for a Hail Mary that never came.

Ben Volin | On Football

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davismiane20spts.jpg Patriots almost always execute in crunch time, but they didn’t against the Dolphins

Tom Brady losing track of the timeouts and Stephen Gostkowski missing two kicks were among the team’s many mistakes.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davismiane12spts.jpg Patriots’ breakdown: The best, worst (and everything in between)

The play and the loss dropped the Patriots to 9-4, prevented them from clinching their 10th straight AFC East title.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davismiane8spts.jpg How the Dolphins’ game-winning lateral play went down

You see it tried often enough at the end of the game. You don’t see it succeed.

Patriots notebook

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davismiane12spts.jpg It’s lost because of the final play, but Rob Gronkowski was a force again on offense

Gronkowski had 8 receptions on 8 targets for 107 yards and scored his first red-zone TD of the season.

Kenyan Drake’s touchdown was the difference.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Ben Volin | Instant Analysis

Patriots let Dolphins hang around, and lost in devastating fashion

The loss hurt the Patriots’ chances of clinching the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

Chad Finn | 34 thoughts

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davismiane8spts.jpg Bizarre things happen to Patriots in Miami, but this loss tops them all

The Patriots have lost in Miami to Joey Harrington and A.J. Feeley, but never like this.

Dolphins 34, Patriots 33

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davismiane2spts.jpg Patriots lose as Dolphins score improbable touchdown on final play

The Patriots’ chances of clinching the top spot in the AFC took a major blow with the loss at Miami.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1070645766.jpg Albert McClellan blocks two punts for Patriots vs. Dolphins

The first of two blocked punts led to a Patriots touchdown.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/4f6f7fae4d494ea0b160d9eb345d87cb-4f6f7fae4d494ea0b160d9eb345d87cb-0.jpg Tom Brady takes a sack as Patriots leave points on the field at the end of the first half

It was a rare case of poor clock management by the Patriots.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davismianepre6spts.jpg Tom Brady sets record for most touchdown passes in NFL history

Tom Brady eclipsed Peyton Manning with a 2-yard pass to Julian Edelman in the first quarter against Miami.

Boston Bruins' Charlie McAvoy (73) leaves the ice with help from Brad Marchand (63) and Joakim Nordstrom (20) after a hit by Toronto Maple Leafs' Zach Hyman during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

bruins notebook

Charlie McAvoy returns to lineup against Senators

Toronto’s Zach Hyman has been suspended for two games for interference for his hit on McAvoy.

Boston, MA - 12/08/2018 - (1st period) Boston Bruins center Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson (23) scores to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead in the first period. The Boston Bruins host the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden. - (Barry Chin/Globe Staff), Section: Sports, Reporter: Matt Porter, Topic: 09Leafs-Bruins, LOID: 8.4.4071621268.

bruins 6, maple leafs 3

After a scarcity of goals, Bruins inundate Maple Leafs in ‘one of our most complete games’

Charlie McAvoy’s injury in the third period was the only drawback.

Boston Bruin defenseman Torey Krug (47) celebrates his winning overtime goal with teammates Brad Marchand (63) and David Krejci (46) at the end of NHL hockey overtime action against the Ottawa Senators, in Ottawa, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. (Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press via AP)

Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press via AP

Bruins 2, Senators 1

Torey Krug’s overtime goal lifts Bruins over Senators

A slick play from David Krejci set up the Bruins defenseman for his second goal of the season at 3:07.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/9762631c27d647cbb7508853b54cc53e-9762631c27d647cbb7508853b54cc53e-24891.jpg The Celtics’ recent surge is what we expected all along

Distancing themselves from a 10-10 start with a five-game winning streak, the Celtics’ play has been nothing short of dominant.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/10/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/3e00a917d9374334b004739cb785e4a3-3e00a917d9374334b004739cb785e4a3-0.jpg Lowly Raiders answer late to surprise fading Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger returned from an injury to put Pittsburgh ahead late but Derek Carr answered with 21 seconds to go to lift the Raiders.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/45afb6f4d73f4fc1a9c307720ab33b54-45afb6f4d73f4fc1a9c307720ab33b54-0.jpg Chiefs rally to knock off Ravens in overtime

Patrick Mahomes had another big day and Harrison Butker atoned for a miss at the end of regulation by kicking a 36-yarder in OT.

Sports Log

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/10/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/AFP_1BG6RU.jpg Mikaela Shiffrin captures World Cup ski event

US ski champion won her third World Cup title in eight days with a triumph in the parallel slalom at St. Moritz, Switzerland.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1070847436.jpg T.Y. Hilton helps Colts end Texans’ nine-game winning streak

The Indy receiver had nine catches for 199 yards to help Indy stay alive in the AFC South race.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/10/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1079971714.jpg Cowboys edge Eagles in OT, close in on NFC East title

Amari Cooper caught his third TD pass from Dak Prescott from in overtime to give Dallas its fifth straight win.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/10/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1070668248.jpg Redskins not faring well going with retro look at QB

Mark Sanchez’s first start since 2015 was a disaster, so Josh Johnson — who hadn’t thrown a pass since 2011 — got the call.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/255a2e95455f489c9cd1592c97983ff7-255a2e95455f489c9cd1592c97983ff7-0.jpg Celtics make history in rout of Bulls: ‘We’re playing some good basketball’

The 56-point margin of victory was the largest in Celtics’ history and the worst margin of defeat in Bulls’ history.

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray holds the Heisman Trophy after winning the award Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Heisman Trophy winner apologizes for making anti-gay tweets as a teenager

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray said he used a poor choice of words when he was 14 and 15.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/08/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/b2afb735b89f44459805710aec211fc3-b2afb735b89f44459805710aec211fc3-0.jpg Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk to miss next two games with concussion symptoms

The second-year winger is feeling ill and will be out of the lineup this weekend.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/09/30/BostonGlobe.com/ReceivedContent/Images/Lee_093018_patfish16_spts.jpg John Simon a good fit for Patriots defense

The five-year veteran, signed by the Patriots on Sept. 26, has carved out a role as a hybrid defensive end/linebacker.

Craig Kimbrel, the Red Sox closer the last three seasons, is a free agent.

HARRY HOW/Getty Images


What are Red Sox’ needs heading into Winter Meetings?

The Sox essentially have their team in place with the exception of some additions to the bullpen, including a closer.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/01/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/c7ead8a052c74425bd6b1d8e7f5f4d9f-c7ead8a052c74425bd6b1d8e7f5f4d9f-0.jpg Why Jaylen Brown has no plans to hire an agent

The Celtics young star, closing in on a potential career-defining contract after this season, will seek financial advice by a different means.

FOR FUTURE HOHLER STORY Myra and Raymond Turner, parents of pro football player Kevin Turner, visit the memorial for their son at the Kevin Turner Field, at the Stanley-Jensen Stadium, Prattville, Alabama. Turner's photograph is on the memorial. Turner's nickname was

Meg McKinney for The Boston Globe


Ex-Patriot Kevin Turner’s children battle the nurse who became his wife and heir

Turner died a year after marrying his nurse, who now gets his NFL pension, but his parents claim he wasn’t mentally fit to make decisions.

High Schools | Foot Locker Cross-Country Championships

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/sydney1.jpg Sydney Masciarelli wins girls’ cross-country national title

The 15-year-old Marianapolis Prep sophomore claimed first (17:00.3) in the Foot Locker Cross-Country Championships on Saturday in San Diego, Calif.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/11/17/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/18schfhockey_02.jpg The final Globe Top 20 fall high school sports rankings are out

St. John’s Prep topped the football poll, while Somerset Berkley was first in field hockey.

Kevin Paul Dupont

/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/03/05/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/dupont-13978.tif More from Dupont

Read his recent “On Second Thought” columns and more features from the longtime Globe writer.