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Patriots look for better start on the road in 2019

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) looks to pass, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) looks to pass, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

There’s no sugar coating it, the Patriots struggled on the road in 2018. Yes, the team got it together in time to win the AFC Championship game in Kansas City and to win again on the road in Super Bowl LIII, but, that doesn’t make up for their glaring 3-5 record playing away from home during the 2018 regular season.

It’s a new year and a new season, but Coach Belichick isn’t looking past the road game woes of 2018. This preseason, Belichick made sure the schedule lined up so that his team would spend two consecutive weeks on the road participating in joint practices with the Detroit Lions and the Tennessee Titans. This was a way for the 2019 Patriots to establish their road game routine before the season even begins.

“It was an area we weren’t very good in last year,” Belichick said before joint practices in Detroit. “I think there’s a lot of components to that, but the bottom line was we weren’t a very good road team at all, and that’s important in this league. You’re not going to last very long when you can’t play .500 on the road or better. So, hopefully we can improve on that, and this is an opportunity for us, as I said, to take some steps, get some things ironed out, start to develop a routine, and hopefully build on it.”

Sunday’s game in Miami gives the Patriots a chance to put last year’s road struggles behind them, and change the tone around road games in 2019.

“That’s something we know we need to do better at,” Devin McCourty said of playing on the road. “It all starts this week, going in to a place we haven’t won at in a while. It will be really important for us to go out there and get off to a good start and try to play well, and play from ahead.”

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