The Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots are no strangers during the NFL regular season being AFC East rivals. However, after a grueling loss to the Baltimore Ravens last weekend, 59-10. Miami needs to prepare for what’s to come against the Super Bowl Champions.
New Team, New Staff
There is no question that the Miami Dolphins are in a rebuilding stage. From hiring new head coach Brian Flores to signing 36-year old quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick this season, the Dolphins need to find their footing in the NFL. However, that discovery may need to come sooner than later against the Patriots if they want to get a win early this season.
Flores knows what makes the New England Patriots good.
What’s good is that some familiar faces remain on the team, who can help the new team members feel comfortable in Miami, while also building that camaraderie that they desperately need in order to play the game.
Patriots Look Good
The Patriots have always been a threat to the Dolphins, and more than ever has New England come out strong on the front line. It’s hard to find a weak spot in Bill Belichick’s team because of the consistency they’ve kept year after year.
Flores acknowledges his opponent’s strength.
Tom Brady last weekend against the Steelers had a completion percentage of 66.7 for 341 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receivers Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett lead in receiving yards for the Patriots. Edelman had 6 out of 11 receptions for 83 yards and Dorsett had 4 out of 4 receptions for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns.
This tight-knit team is going to be difficult for the Dolphins to unravel, but not impossible.
The Miami Dolphins aren’t shying away from making roster moves in order to build the team they want to build. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing at the beginning of a season when contracts begin to get finalized.
On Thursday, the team signed defensive end Tank Carradine and placed defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter on injured reserve. Carradine was a Dolphin in the preseason, but Miami split ways with him at the end of August when cutting the roster.
Carradine statistics total 77 tackles (55 solo), 5.5 sacks and one forced fumble for 45 games with eight starts.
Before the season opener, the Dolphins signed offensive lineman J’Marcus Webb, linebacker Vince Biegel, tackle Julien Davenport, and cornerback Johnson Bademosi. The latter two were part of a larger deal with the Houston Texans, guaranteeing Miami two first-round picks and a second-round selection.
Surprises in Miami
Despite not having strong overall season records, the Dolphins have won four of their last five games at home against the Patriots. They also lead the all-time record, 55-52.
The last time these teams met in Miami, the Miracle in Miami play was born. The Dolphins were down 33-28 with 7 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Miami completed a 17-yard pass and two lateral passes resulting in a 69-yard touchdown by Kenyan Drake. With no time left in the game and no flags on the play, the Dolphins beat the Patriots, 34-33.
Surprises like this are going to allow Miami to thrive against the Patriots, but they can’t get too comfortable depending on the unexpected to continue getting wins, instead, there needs to be a focus on smart play-calling if they want to defeat Belichick’s team once again in Miami.
You can catch the game on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on CBS*.
*Local listings may vary depending on location.