The New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins will meet for the 79th time in their history and for the 39th year as division foes. The Patriots have won five out of the last six matchups between the teams. New England trails in the overall series, 45-33 including the postseason, but the Patriots swept both games in 2003 and split the season series in 2001 and 2002. New England will be looking for its second consecutive series sweep against Miami after taking a 24-10 victory at Gillette Stadium earlier this season. A victory for the Patriots would give them back-to-back series sweeps over the Dolphins for the third time in team history and for the first time since sweeping Miami for three straight seasons from 1986-88. New England returns to Pro Player Stadium for the first time since last season's dramatic 19-13 overtime win, in which Tom Brady connected with Troy Brown on an 82-yard touchdown bomb in overtime to give New England its first ever victory in Miami in the months of September and October.
BEAST OF THE EAST
New England has the best record among AFC East teams in division games since the beginning of the 2001 season (19-5). The New York Jets rank second with a 13-12 record and Miami is third with an 11-14 mark. Buffalo has an 8-18 record. In their last 21 divisional games, the Patriots are 18-3.
- New England has defeated Miami in each of the teams' last four meetings on Monday Night Football, dating back to 1986.
- The Patriots will travel to Miami in the month of December for the first time since 1997, when New England posted a 14-12 victory on Dec. 22.
- New England will venture to Miami in December for the 14th time in team history. The Patriots lost in their first nine December trips to Miami from 1967-85, but have won in three of their last four trips in the 12th month.
- The three points scored in the Patriots' 3-0 victory over the Dolphins in the "Snow Plow Game" at Schaefer Stadium on Dec. 12, 1982 stands as the fewest combined points scored in a game in franchise history.
- Last season's game against the Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 7, 2003 was the sixth-coldest game in franchise history with a game-time temperature of 28 degrees. PATRIOTS ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
The Patriots will make their 31st appearance on Monday Night Football. New England has won four of its last five games on Monday nights dating back to a 30-24 victory over Kansas City on Dec. 4, 2000. The Patriots will play in Miami on a Monday night for the ninth time in team history, holding a 3-4 record in the previous seven such games, including victories in their last three such games. Overall, the Patriots have beaten the Dolphins in each of their last four Monday night meetings dating back to 1986.
The Patriots have recorded a 12-1 mark in 2004, notching the best mark in franchise history through 13 games.
- While serving as head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick hired Jim Bates as the defensive line coach. Bates is now the interim head coach for the Miami Dolphins.
- Patriots linebacker Larry Izzo was originally signed by the Miami Dolphins as a rookie free agent. In his five seasons with the team he appeared in 61 games and recorded 95 special teams tackles, five defensive tackles (all solos) and one blocked punt.
- Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel is originally from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and attended Central Florida. He played quarterback, defensive back, kicker and punter on Boyd Anderson (Lauderdale Lake, Fla.) High School's football team.
- Miami defensive line coach Clarence Brooks was an offensive guard at the University of Massachusetts from 1970-72, and was the team captain his final season. Brooks also was the defensive ends coach at UMass from 1976-80.
- Miami running backs coach Joel Collier was the Patriots assistant running backs and receivers coach for two seasons (1991-92) and worked in the Patriots personnel department for one season (1993).
- Miami wide receiver Derrius Thompson's cousin, Reyna Thompson, was a cornerback for the Patriots in 1993.
- Miami fullback Rob Konrad attended St. John's Prep School in Danvers, Mass.
- Miami quarterback Jay Fiedler matriculated to Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.
- Patriots fullback Patrick Pass was drafted in 1996 by the Florida Marlins and that year played for the organization's rookie league team in Melbourne, Florida.
- Miami tight ends coach Bernie Parmalee played for New England head coach Bill Belichick, then an assistant head coach, with the New York Jets from 1999-2000. Parmalee's teammates included New England linebacker Roman Phifer.
- Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest was a teammate of Dolphins safety Sammy Knight at USC in 1993.
- From 1990-96 the coaching staff of the Dallas Cowboys included Patriots strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik, and Miami interim head coach Jim Bates.
- Patriots running back Patrick Pass and defensive lineman Richard Seymour were teammates of Dolphins tight end Randy McMichael at the University of Georgia.
- Patriots safety Rodney Harrison and Dolphins linebacker Junior Seau both became Pro Bowlers while playing together on the San Diego Chargers.
- Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi attended and played his college ball at the University of Arizona while Dolphins defensive line coach Clarence Brooks was an assistant there.
- Dolphins National Scout Chris Grier interned with the Patriots in 1994 and then joined the staff full-time until 1999. He matriculated to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
- Patriots rookie defensive lineman Vince Wilfork was a standout defensive tackle at the University of Miami, where he recorded 148 tackles and 14 sacks from 2001-2003.
- Miami assistant defensive line coach Glenn Pires was the outside linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at Michigan State in 1995, working under Patriots linebackers coach Dean Pees who was the Spartans' defensive coordinator from 1995-97.
- Patriots strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik held the same position for the New Orleans Saints from 1997-99, while Miami offensive quality control/receivers coach Judd Garrett was an offensive assistant for the Saints during the same time period.
- Patriots tight end Jed Weaver started 11 games for the Dolphins from 2000-02, catching 18 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns in 2001. FANTASTIC FINISHES
One of the oldest mantras in sports is that it doesn't matter where you start a season, but it does matter where you finish it. The Patriots have done a remarkable job of finishing strong over the past two-plus seasons, as they have compiled a 34-4 (.895) record after November 1 since the 2001 season.
Tom Brady is scheduled to start at quarterback against Miami for the eighth time. Brady and the Patriots have taken all four of the meetings in Foxborough, while the Dolphins have taken two of the three previous battles in Miami. Brady and the Patriots have won four of the last five matchups, including the last three clashes.
THE KRAFT ERA
The Patriots record at home since 1994, including preseason, regular-season and postseason games.
The Patriots' record at Gillette Stadium, including regular-season and postseason games (.880 win pct).
The Patriots' record in preseason, regular-season and postseason games since 1996 (.645 win pct).
The Patriots' regular-season record since 1996 (.631 win pct).
The Patriots' postseason record since 1996 (.750 win pct).
THE BELICHICK ERA
Bill Belichick's overall record as head coach of the Patriots, including the regular season and the playoffs.
Belichick's record in New England when his team scores 25 points or more.
Belichick's record in New England when his team scores 21 points or more.
The average number of points the Patriots have allowed through seven games at Gillette Stadium this season.
The number of sacks the Patriots have registered so far this season.
The number of sacks the Patriots will notch on the season if they continue at their current pace, the most since New England registered 48.0 sacks in 1986.
The number of Patriots defenders who have registered at least one sack on the season.
The number of games this season in which the Patriots have held opponents to fewer than 300 net yards.
The number of 100-yard rushers the Patriots have allowed this season.
The number of yards rushing Corey Dillon has gained so far this season, placing him fourth in the NFL despite having played in 12 of 13 games this season.
The number of games this season in which Dillon has passed the century mark in rushing yards, establishing a career high.
The number of 100-yard games Curtis Martin recorded in 1995, establishing a Patriots record.
The number of touchdowns Dillon has recorded in 2004, tying his career high, also set in 1997 and 2001.
The number of rushing yards Dillon is on pace to record this season, a total that would top Curtis Martin's franchise-best season total of 1,487 yards in 1995.
The number of rushing attempts Dillon is on pace to record in 2004, which would be a career high and would place him second in Patriots' history.
Consecutive games in which Tom Brady has started at quarterback.
Consecutive victories when leading after three quarters, a post-merger NFL record.
Consecutive victories when scoring 21 or more points.
Consecutive victories when leading at halftime, a post-merger NFL record.
Consecutive victories when producing a positive turnover differential.
Consecutive field goals Adam Vinatieri has made.
Consecutive games in which the Patriots have scored first (21 games including playoffs).
Consecutive victories at Gillette Stadium (18 games including playoffs).
Consecutive games in which the Patriots have scored in the second quarter.
Consecutive wins against AFC East division opponents.
Consecutive overtime wins (8 games including playoffs).
Consecutive games won overall.
Consecutive Patriots games televised locally, including preseason, regular-season and postseason games.
Consecutive sellouts in Foxborough, including preseason, regular-season and postseason games.
NOTE: All of the above streaks include regular-season games only, unless noted.
SCORING FIRST STREAK
The number of consecutive games in which the Patriots have scored first, including playoffs.
The number of times during the streak that the Patriots have scored first with a touchdown.
The number of times during the streak that the Patriots have scored first with a Corey Dillon rushing touchdown.
The number of times during the streak that he Patriots have scored first with a Daniel Graham receiving touchdown.
The number of times during the streak that the Patriots have scored first with an Adam Vinatieri field goal.
The number of times during the streak that the Patriots have scored on their first possession (10 TDs/6 FGs).
The number of times during the streak that the Patriots have scored after their opponent has had at least one possession.
The number of times during the streak that the Patriots have scored on the opening possession of the game.