Barstool Sports

Friday, November 11, 2005

Patriots Week 10: Squish the fish

After last weeks crushing loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the Patriots lick their wounds and head down to their house of horrors, Miami, for a showdown with the Dolphins on Sunday. Finally back to the 1pm kickoff, the Pats will face the Fins for the 1st time this season, in only their 2nd AFC East Division game.

While the Patriots have gotten the best of the Dolphins over the years (eliminating Miami from the playoffs on the last game of the year in 2002; beating them for the division in the blizzard game in 2003; breaking the NFL consecutive games won streak against Miami, who previously held the record, in 2004), visiting Miami continues to be a problem for New England. In the 5 years Bill Belichick has been head coach, they are 1-4. The only win came in 2003 when Tom Brady hit Troy Brown for an 80 yard bomb in overtime.

Last season the Patriots headed into Miami with a 12-1 record, looking to gain home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Dolphins were an awful 2-11 and playing the Pats tough, but appeared to be coming up short again, when Tom Brady threw an interception (while in the grasp of Jason Taylor) providing an opening. Miami scored two touchdowns in the final 2:07 to stun the Patriots 29-28. Dolphins QB Jay Feeley threw for the game-winning score, a 21-yard touchdown pass to Derrius Thompson on fourth-and-10 with 1:23 left.

The stunning loss marked the 1st time in the Brady-Belichick era that the QB and the team collapsed down the stretch in a ball game. The loss didn't mean much in the scheme of things, and may have even hardened the Patriots resolve to return to and win the Super Bowl.

Sunday's game also marks the 1st time Belichick and Miami head coach Nick Saban have ever squared off. The two friends worked together in Cleveland where Belichick was the head man and Saban was his assistant, before Saban eventually went to LSU and won a share of the national championship. It was the Saben-Belichick relationship that helped land 5 LSU players in New England by the 2004 season, including Randall Blue-Gay who was an undrafted free agent that Belichick used to help solve his secondary mess. Gay played every playoff game including the Super Bowl.

Above is the 1985 AFC Champions ring that the Patriots earned by beating the Dolphins in Miami 31-14 in the AFC title game. UB sees Sunday's game going the same way. The Patriots are looking to get back on track after an embarrassing loss on Monday Night Football. UB sees the Pats getting up big early, negating the Dolphins run offense-sold defense combo.

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