NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (9-3) vs. MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-6)
Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Hard Rock Stadium (64,767)
The New England Patriots secured the franchise's 33rd winning season since 1970 after improving to 9-3 with a 24-10 win over Minnesota last week. Only Pittsburgh (35) has more winning seasons since the 1970 merger. The Patriots also earned their 18th straight winning season, the most since the 1970 merger, and the second-most all-time to the Dallas Cowboys (20).
For the second straight season, the Patriots will close out the regular season with the same four opponents at the same venues with games at Miami (Sunday) and at Pittsburgh (Dec. 16) followed by two consecutive home games against AFC East opponents with games against the Bills on Dec. 23 and the Jets on Dec. 30.
If the New England Patriots defeat the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, they will clinch their 10th straight AFC East title and become the first franchise in NFL history to earn a playoff berth in 10 consecutive seasons. New England enters this week tied with the Dallas Cowboys (1975-83) and the Indianapolis Colts (2002- 10) as the only teams to play in the postseason for nine straight seasons.
The New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins will square off for the second time in 2018. The Patriots beat Miami, 38-7, at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 30. The Patriots have swept the season series 10 times and will look for their 11th series sweep and their first since 2016 with a win this week in South Florida. The Patriots are 4-15 at Miami in the month of December.
Last season, the teams split the annual series with the Patriots taking a 35-17 win at Gillette Stadium on Nov. 26, 2017, and the Dolphins winning the rematch at Miami on Dec. 11, 2017, with a 27-20 victory on Monday Night Football.
The Patriots have had the upper hand at home against Miami, holding a 35-17 record in games played in New England in the regular season, including a 15-2 record at Gillette Stadium. But the Patriots are 16-37 alltime in Miami, including two postseason contests. Miami beat New England at Gillette Stadium for the first time in the final game of the 2005 season, when Patriots starting QB Tom Brady was pulled from action after the first quarter. Miami also beat the Patriots, 38-13, at Gillette Stadium, on Sept. 21, 2008, when Tom Brady was on injured reserve.
The Dolphins and Patriots met for the first time in 1966 and began playing twice a year during the 1967 regular season, except in 1982 during a players' strike.
The two have played three times in the postseason with New England holding a 2-1 advantage.
- Since Bill Belichick became Patriots head coach in 2000, New England is 24-13 (.649) against Miami.
- Since 2000, the Patriots are 86-29 (.747) against AFC East opponents. New England is 24-13 against the Dolphins over that span, 27- 10 against the New York Jets and 32-5 against the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots were 3-1 against Indianapolis from 2000 through 2001 when they were in the AFC East.
- The Patriots have not been swept in their season series with a divisional opponent since 2000, when they lost both games to Miami and also to the New York Jets.
MIAMI 54, NEW ENGLAND 52
(Including New England 2, Miami 1 in Playoffs)
Record in New England, 36-17 (Incl. 1-0 in playoffs)
- Record in Foxborough, 34-15 (1-0)
- Record in Boston, 2-2
Record in Miami, 16-37 (Incl. 1-1 in playoffs)
- Record at Dolphins / Pro Player / Joe Robbie/ Sun Life, 12-19
- Record at Orange Bowl, 3-18 (1-1)
- Record in Tampa*, 1-0
Season Sweeps, Patriots 10, Dolphins 13
Season Splits, 27 (Most recent 2017)
Bill Belichick vs. Miami, 24-16 (24-13 with New England)
*A Miami home game was played in Tampa in 1969.
TALE OF THE TAPE
|2018 Regular Season||New England||Miami|
|Total Yards Gained||4,741||3,625|
|Total Ofense (Rank)||395.1 (7)||302.1 (29)|
|Rush Offense||121.7 (11)||102.7 (24)|
|Pass Offense||273.4 (9)||199.4 (28)|
|Points Per Game||27.6 (7)||20.3 (25)|
|Total Yards Allowed||4,430||4,793|
|Total Defense (Rank)||369.2 (22)||399.4 (29)|
|Rush Defense||106.7 (13)||144.7 (30)|
|Pass Defense||262.5 (24)||254.8 (21)|
|Points Allowed/Game||21.6 (9T)||25.0 (20)|
|Sacks Allowed/Yards Lost||16/111||31/247|
|Total Touchdowns Scored||38||28|
|Turnover Differential||+6 (10T)||+8 (7T)|
TOM BRADY VS. MIAMI
Tom Brady is scheduled to start at quarterback against Miami for the 32nd time in his career and has compiled a 22-10 record against the Dolphins. Brady is 79-19 in his career as a starter in the regular season against AFC East opponents, with 10 of the 19 losses coming to the Dolphins. One of those losses was in the final game of the 2005 season, when Brady was pulled after the first quarter.
IF THE PATRIOTS WIN...
- The Patriots will clinch the 2018 AFC East title, extending their own NFL record to 10-straight division titles (2009-18). It will be the team's 18th division title since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994.
- The Patriots will qualify for the playoffs for the 26th time in the team's 59-year history, with 20 of those playoff berths coming in Robert Kraft's 25 seasons of ownership, compared to the team's six playoff appearances in the team's prior 34 years of existence.
- The Patriots will earn their 15th division title since realignment in 2002, which is the most in the NFL during that span. Green Bay and Indianapolis are tied for second with nine division titles since 2002.
- The Patriots will secure a playoff appearance for an NFL record 10thstraight season (2009-18). They are currently tied with Dallas (1975-83) and Indianapolis (2002-10) for the most consecutive playoff berths in NFL history with nine. The Patriots are the only team in the NFL to have made the playoffs in each of the last nine seasons.
- New England will earn its 10th win of the year, tying San Francisco (1983-98) for the most consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins with 16.
- The Patriots will sweep Miami in division play for the 11th time in franchise history.
- The Patriots own an NFL-best record of 84-23 (.787) in regular season division games and can improve that mark with a win against the Dolphins.
- The Patriots will improve to 108-29 (.788) since 2001 on or after Thanksgiving (regular and postseason). That is the best record in the NFL during that time by more than 20 wins.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR...
- With one touchdown pass, Tom Brady will break a tie with Peyton Manning and take sole possession of first place in NFL history for most career touchdowns passes all-time (regular and postseason). Brady already owns the NFL record for most touchdown passes with one team.
- With one touchdown pass, Brady will also break a tie with Brett Favre (508 touchdowns) and take sole possession of third place in NFL history for most regular-season touchdown passes. Peyton Manning is first with 539 touchdown passes and Drew Brees is second with 518.
TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast by CBS and can be seen locally on WBZ-TV Channel 4. Ian Eagle will handle play-by-play duties with Dan Fouts as the color analyst. Even Washburn will work from the sidelines. The game will be produced by Mark Wolff and directed by Bob Fishman.
LOCAL RADIO: 98.5 The Sports Hub is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 41 stations can be found here. Play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis. The games are produced by Marc Cappello.