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Pats vs. ‘Phins Preview for Sunday

BOSTON – The New England Patriots will face off against their AFC East divisional foe, the Miami, Florida Dolphins this Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. After a dominating performance on Sunday Night Football, New England looks to improve to a 2-0 record, something the Patriots have done ten times under head coach Bill Belichick.

The Patriots, having one of the most high powered offenses in week 1 of NFL matchups, look to capitalize on one of the worst defenses in the league. New England ranked seventh in the NFL in total offense, scoring 33 points and calculating 465 total yards in week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Miami’s defense ranked as the worst (32nd) in week 1, allowing a whopping 59 points and giving up 643 yards to the Baltimore Ravens.

The problem? New England is just 1-5 in their last six visits to Miami. It seems like the Patriots always struggle when going down south, going just 16-38 all time (1-1 in playoffs) vs. Miami. Tom Brady is just 7-10 in Miami, losing 11 of his 20 total loses to AFC East opponents to the Dolphins.

While New England has struggled in Miami under the Brady/Belichick era, the Patriots are 24-14 all time vs. the Dolphins. Tom Brady is also 22-11 all time vs. Miami and 81-20 vs. AFC East opponents. Since 2001, the Patriots have the best NFL record (86-24) of any team against division opponents. While the Patriots have seemed very shaky and inconsistent when traveling to Miami, it will be a very tough task for the Dolphins to limit Tom Brady and his offensive threats.

Miami head coach and former Bill Belichick assistant Brian Flores, a defensive minded coach will look to limit Tom Brady and New England’s top 10 offense. Miami will look to respond after their atrocious and embarrassing loss to the Ravens last Sunday.

From a defensive standpoint, the Patriots only allowed 3 points to the Steelers last week, having six players with four or more tackles in the game. Look for the Patriots defense to limit whatever quarterback is at the helm for Miami, as well as a running game that was merely insignificant last week vs. the Ravens.

Offensively, running backs Rex Burkhead and James White made up for most of the rushing last week as Sony Michel took a back seat in the action. Look for Michel to get in on the action this week to expose the Dolphins defense. Wide receivers Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon and Phillip Dorsett took control in the blowout win vs. Pittsburgh last week and look to wear down the Dolphins secondary this week.

With new acquisition wide out Antonio Brown just recently signing a one-year $15 million dollar deal with a 2020 option, many Patriots fans are excited about the plethora of threats that quarterback Tom Brady now has to work with. However, with the recent glooming sexual assault allegations against Brown, it is still unclear as to if he will play this weekend. When asked about Brown’s availability come Sunday, head coach Bill Belichick responded with “We’re taking it one day at a time, just like we always do.” Insists that the Patriots are “working on Miami.”

New England will most likely come out of the gates swinging, looking to get off to a hot start in what will be a very warm Miami, Florida sun. With New England’s high powered offense, lockdown defense and great preparation, the edge has to be given to the Patriots this weekend. Especially with Miami’s horrendous defense, lack luster offense and a brand new head coach.

 

This Sunday’s game will be broadcasted by CBS and can be watched locally on WBZ-TV channel 4, as well as local radio 98.5 The Sports Hub.

 

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