- 2017 @ Miami the Patriots won 35-14
- 2012 vs. Buffalo the Patriots won 49-21
- 2006 vs. Miami the Patriots lost 28-26. Doug Flutie scored a PAT with a drop kick. Nick Saban was in his first year with the Dolphins. The Patriots were resting most of their starters knowing that a loss might give them an easier opponent Wildcard Weekend.
IN CLOSE SCORING- In their first matchup this season, the Patriots were 1-1 in the red zone while the Dolphins were 0-2. After that first week of the season, the red zone numbers changed drastically for both teams. Heading into week 17 the Dolphins are 10th in the NFL with a 60% touchdown percentage in the red zone. The Patriots are sitting at dead last with an an efficiency of 38.46%. When it comes to goal to goal situations, according to their Game Release, the Dolphins are 7th in the league with an efficiency of 80%. According to my calculations, the Patriots have scored touchdowns on 60% of their goal to go possessions.
KICKING GAME- While the weather for the game is going to be amazing for a game in January, winds of 12 mph will undoubtedly affect the kicking game. In addition to making field goals and PATs a bit tougher, fielding punts could get a bit dicey. Not having Marcus Jones back there does make me a bit nervous. Hopefully if the game comes down to a miscue on special teams, the Patriots are the beneficiaries.
PATRIOTS OFFENSE- After looking horrible in the preseason, the Patriots' offense started the regular season looking great on their first possession in Miami. Like clockwork they got 1st down after first down without even having to convert a 3rd down. Then, all of a sudden the tables got turned in a hurry with a blown call by the officials. After seeing him get held, Mac took a shot in the endzone to DeVante Parker. Somehow, there wasn't a flag on the obvious hold. There also wasn't a flag on the obvious pass interference. Then, the bal was somehow deflected and retrieved by Miami. So instead of marching down the field and sitting at first and goal, the Patriots had their first turnover of the season. Two possessions later Mac was stripped sacked for a walk-in touchdown. In my opinion, those two first half possessions broke Mac and the offense. Sure, there has been some glimmers of hope here and there, but they've all come with a feeling of trepidation.
PATRIOTS DEFENSE- Today's task isn't going to be easy with a depleted secondary. Even at full health, stopping or even slowing down Hill and Waddle is a tough task. Stopping the Dolphins on third down may not be good enough as they aren't afraid to go for it on 4th down. Yeah, they smoked us pretty good on 4th and 7 for a 42 yard touchdown and have averaged 0.7 4th down conversions per game (tied for 15th). Yes, the Patriots offense is tied for last with 0.2 4th down conversions per game. If the Patriots defense is going to slow down the Miami offense they'll need to get to Bridgewater and make a play or two on an ill-advised throws. Since the Miami offensive line is a little banged up, pressuring Bridgewater might not be too difficult. In reality, the best bet for the Patriots defense is to stay off the field. This of course requires the offense to move the chains and allow the defense to rest and regroup.