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Game Preview: Patriots return to Gillette Stadium to host Dolphins

The Patriots return home to Gillette Stadium to take on the Miami Dolphins. A win or tie over Miami this week will give the Patriots their sixth straight AFC East Title.


Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. ET
* Gillette Stadium (68,756)*

!The New England Patriots got back on the winning track with a 23-14 victory over the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium to improve to a 10-3 record. The Patriots have now reached at least 10 regular-season wins for 12 consecutive years. Only the San Francisco 49ers (1983-1998) have a longer streak with 16 consecutive 10-win seasons.

A win or tie over Miami this week will give the Patriots their sixth straight AFC East Title and their 14th division crown since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994.

If the Patriots win the division, they will join the Los Angeles Rams (7; 1973-79), Pittsburgh Steelers (6; 1974-79) and the Minnesota Vikings (6; 1973-78) as the only teams since the merger with at least six straight division titles.

The Patriots dropped the season opener at Miami, 33-20, on Sept. 7. New England has not been swept in their season series with a divisional opponent since 2000, when they lost both games to Miami and to the New York Jets.

Since 2001, the Patriots are 65-18 (.783) against AFC East opponents, compiling the best intra-division record of any team in the NFL. The Patriots have won 16 straight home games against AFC East opponents and are now 32-5 against the AFC East at Gillette Stadium.



TELEVISION:** This week's game will be broadcast by CBS and can be seen locally on WBZTV Channel 4 in Boston. Ian Eagle will handle play-by-play duties with Dan Fouts as the color analyst. Jenny Dell will work from the sidelines. The game will be produced by Mark Wolff and directed by Bob Fishman.

NATIONAL RADIO: This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience on ESPN Radio. Marc Kestecher and Bill Polian will call the game. Ian Fitzsimmons will report from the sidelines.

LOCAL RADIO: 98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. Play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis.

With a win or tie this week, New England will earn its 14th AFC East title since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994 and 12th since Bill Belichick took over as head coach in 2000. Over the past 20 years, no other NFL team has won as many division crowns as the Patriots.


The New England Patriots visit Sun Life Stadium for their Week 1 matchup with the Miami Dolphins.

The New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins will square off for the 99th time, including three playoff games, in their 49th year as division foes and for the second of two meetings in 2014.

Miami snapped the Patriots 10-game winning streak on kickoff weekend after overcoming a 20-10 halftime deficit to win 33-20 at SunLife Stadium on Sept. 7, 2014.

The Patriots will attempt to avoid a series sweep by Miami for the first time since the 2000 season. The Patriots have not been swept in their season series with a division opponent since being swept by the Dolphins and the Jets in 2000.

The Patriots also enter this week's game with 16 straight home wins against AFC East opponents, second in NFL history to 18 by Green Bay (1994-98) and 17 by Buffalo (1988-92).

!The teams split the annual series in 2013. The Patriots extended their streak to seven straight wins over Miami after a 27-17 victory at Gillette Stadium in the first meeting on Oct. 27, 2013 but dropped the rematch in Miami on Dec. 15, 2013 with a 24-20 loss.

The Dolphins and Patriots met for the first time in 1966 and began playing twice a year during the regular season in 1967, except in 1982 during the strike year. The Patriots swept the series nine times.

The Patriots have had the upper hand at home against Miami, holding a 30-17 record in games played in New England in the regular-season, including a 10-2 record at Gillette Stadium. But the Patriots are only 15-34 all-time in Miami, including two postseason games.

The two have played three times in the postseason with New England holding a 2-1 advantage.


(Including New England 2, Miami 1 in Playoffs)
*-A Miami home game was played in Tampa in 1969

Record in New England, 31-17 (Incl. 1-0 in playoffs)
Record in Foxborough, 29-15 (1-0)
Record in Boston, 2-2

Record in Miami, 15-35 (Incl. 1-1 in playoffs)
Record at Dolphins / Pro Player / Joe Robbie/ Sun Life, 11-17
Record at Orange Bowl, 3-18 (1-1)
Record in Tampa*, 1-0

Seasonal Sweeps, Patriots 9, Dolphins 13

Seasonal Splits, 24 (Most recent 2013)


Bill Belichick vs. Miami**, 18-13 (18-11 with New England)


  • Since Bill Belichick became Patriots head coach in 2000, New England is 18-11 (.621) against the Miami Dolphins.
  • Since 2000, the Patriots are 67-24 (.736) against AFC East opponents. The Patriots are 18-11 against the Dolphins over that span and are 20-9 against the New York Jets and 26-3 against the Buffalo Bills in that time. 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.
  • Tom Brady owns a 17-8 record when playing against Miami. While he is 11-1 against Miami in home games, including wins in the last seven games, Brady is just 6-7 in games played in Miami.
  • Brady's only home loss to Miami was on Jan. 1, 2006 in the final game of the 2005 season when the Patriots had already locked up the AFC East Title and Brady played in the first quarter before being relieved by backup Matt Cassel.

Tom Brady is scheduled to start at quarterback against Miami for the 26th time and has compiled a 17-8 record in his previous 25 starts against the Dolphins. Brady is 61-15 in his career as a starter in the regular-season against AFC East opponents, with eight of the 15 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.


New England Ties

Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was born in Springfield, Mass. and began his coaching career as the offensive line coach at Worcester Tech from 1986-87. Philbin later served as offensive coordinator/offensive line coach at Northeastern University (1995-96) and Harvard University (1997-98). * Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle was an assistant coach at Holy Cross from 1982-90, including five years (1986-90) as the team's defensive coordinator. Linebackers coach Mark Duffner served as the Crusaders' defensive coordinator from 1981-86 before being promoted to head coach (1986-91). * Dolphins assistant offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. played collegiately for his father at Boston College from 1981-85, where he was the center for 1984 Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie. Upon graduation, Bicknell Jr. served as a graduate assistant for Boston College before moving on to New Hampshire, where he coached the defensive (1987-92) and offensive (1993-96) lines. He returned to Boston College to become the Eagles' offensive line coach in 2007. * Dolphins assistant quarterbacks coach Ben Johnson was a graduate assistant (2009-10) and tight ends coach (2011) at Boston College. * Dolphins wide receivers coach Ken O'Keefe started his coaching career as an assistant coach at the University of New Haven from 1976-77. He then spent seven seasons (1978-84) as head coach at Worcester Academy, where he led the team to three New England Class A prep championships. * Dolphins secondary coach Lou Anarumo served as assistant head coach at Harvard from 1995-2000. * Dolphins defensive assistant Jeff Burris spent the 2012 season as the University of Massachusetts' cornerbacks coach. * Dolphins assistant linebackers coach David Corrao served as tight ends coach at Northeastern in 2004.
Miami Ties

Patriots DL Vince Wilfork attended Santaluces HS in Boynton Beach, Fla., where his jersey is now retired. He was named one of the 100 greatest players in the history of Florida high school football by the Florida High School Athletic Association in 2007 and also holds the Florida state high school record in the shot put with a 68-foot throw. Wilfork played three years (2001-03) at Miami (Fla.), where he helped lead the Hurricanes to the 2001 BCS National Championship as a freshman. * Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount recorded three straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons at Taylor County HS in Perry, Fla., where he was a four-year starter and was named second-team all-state as a senior. * Patriots RB James White attended St. Thomas Aquinas HS in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he was named first-team all-county as a senior in 2009 after rushing 136 times for 1,145 yards and 15 touchdowns. * Patriots WR Brian Tyms attended Dillard HS in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and went on to play college football at Florida A&M University. * Patriots C Bryan Stork attended Vero Beach (Fla.) HS, where he was primarily used as a blocking tight end.
Former Dolphins

  • Patriots DE Rob Ninkovich appeared in five games for the Dolphins from 2007-08 and recorded two special teams tackles.
  • Patriots RB Jonas Gray was originally signed by Miami as a rookie free agent in 2012, but spent the entire season on the PUP list.
  • Patriots tight ends coach Brian Daboll served as Miami's offensive coordinator in 2011, where he oversaw an offense that produced a 1,000-yard rusher and 1,000-yard receiver for the first time in franchise history. Offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo coached the Dolphins' offensive line from 2009-11, with LT Jake Long earning Pro Bowl nods each season. Special teams coach Scott O'Brien spent two seasons as Miami's coordinator of football operations/ assistant to the head coach.
    Former Patriots
  • Dolphins S Don Jones was claimed off waivers from Miami and awarded to New England on Sept. 1, 2014. He appeared in nine games for the Patriots, posting one defensive tackle and eight special teams tackles. Jones was released by New England on Nov. 27, 2014 and then claimed off waivers by Miami the following day.
    Hometown Ties
  • Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Dolphins WR Brian Hartline both grew up in Canton, Ohio, though they attended different high schools.
    Former NFL Teammates
  • Patriots LB Akeem Ayers and Dolphins CB Cortland Finnegan were defensive teammates on the Tennessee Titans in 2011. Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount also attended training camp with the Tennessee Titans in 2010, while Finnegan was with the team.
  • Patriots TE Michael Hoomanawanui (2010-11), WR Danny Amendola (2009- 12) and Dolphins WR Brandon Gibson (2009-12) were offensive teammates on the St. Louis Rams. Patriots offensive coordinator/quarterbacks Josh Mc- Daniels also served as the Rams' offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach in 2011.
  • Patriots CB Darrelle Revis and Dolphins LB Jason Trusnik were defensive teammates on the New York Jets from 2007-09. Former College Teammates
  • Dolphins LB Jonathan Freeny (2007-10), Patriots DB Devin McCourty (2006-09), DB Duron Harmon (2009-12) and DB Logan Ryan (2009-12) were defensive teammates at Rutgers.
  • Patriots DL Dominique Easley, Dolphins K Caleb Sturgis and LB Jelani Jenkins were teammates at Florida from 2010-12.
  • Patriots DT Sealver Siliga, Dolphins LB Koa Misi and DE Derrick Shelby were defensive teammates at Utah from 2008-09.
  • Patriots RB Brandon Bolden and Dolphins WR Mike Wallace were offensive teammates at Mississippi in 2008.
    PATRIOTS: Game Release | Injury ReportRoster | Depth Chart | Team Stats
    DOLPHINS: Game Release | Roster | Depth Chart | Team Stats

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