PATRIOTS (8-3) at DOLPHINS (5-6)
Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Sun Life Stadium (75,192)
The New England Patriots improved to 8-3 with a win over the Jets last Thursday and will be aiming for their ninth win this week when they travel to face the Miami Dolphins. If the Patriots win, they will earn their 12th straight winning season. Only San Francisco (1983-98) and Dallas (1970-85) with 16 straight winning seasons, have had longer stretches than 11. New England enters this week tied with Oakland (1970-80) for the third longest streak in NFL history. While New England is 57-15 against the AFC East since 2001, almost half of those losses have been to Miami. The Patriots are 15-7 against the Dolphins during that time. Overall, the Patriots are 14-33 (.298) all-time in Miami.
NFL'S TOP DECEMBER RECORDS SINCE 2001
The Patriots have an NFL-best 41-5 record in the month of December since the 2001 season, including a 4-0 record in 2011.
BELICHICK IN DECEMBER
Bill Belichick is 43-7 (.860) in December with THE Patriots, the best record in December among head coaches with one team in NFL history (min. 25 games). George Seifert (San Francisco) is second (27-6, .818).
The Patriots won more than half of their games for the 11th straight year with a 13-3 record in 2011. They are the first team to win more than half of their games in 11 straight seasons since free agency began in 1993. The Patriots are the fourth team to win more than half of their games in 11 straight seasons since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, joining the 49ers (16 straight from 1983-1998), the Cowboys (16 straight from 1970-85) and the Raiders (11 straight from 1970-80).
TELEVISION:** This week's game will be broadcast to a regional audience by CBS and can be seen in Boston on WBZ-TV Channel 4. Greg Gumbel will handle playby- play duties with Dan Dierdorf providing color. The game will be produced by Mark Wolff and directed by Bob Fishman.
RADIO: 98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 40 stations can be found in this press release. Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santos is in his 36th season as the voice of the Patriots and will call the action. Former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak will handle the color commentary.
NATIONAL RADIO: This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by Compass Media Networks. Chris Carrino and Brian Baldinger will call the game.
The New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins will square off for the 94th time, including three playoff games, in their 47th year as division foes. The Dolphins and Patriots began playing twice a year during the regular season in 1967.
The Patriots have won eight of the last 10 games against Miami, including a sweep in the two meetings in 2011. The Patriots beat Miami in the 2011 season-opener, 38-24, on Monday Night Football and then beat the Dolphins, 27-24 in the rematch at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots swept the series in 2010 and again in 2011 for their seventh and eighth series sweeps, respectively.
The Patriots have had the upper hand at home against Miami, as they hold a 28-17 record in games played in New England in the regular-season, including an 8-2 record at Gillette Stadium. But, the Patriots are only 14-33 alltime in Miami.
The two have played three times in the postseason with New England holding a 2-1 advantage.
Miami 50, New England 43
*(Including New England 2, Miami 1 in Playoffs) *-A Miami home game was played in Tampa in 1969
Record in New England, 29-17 (Incl. 1-0 in playoffs)
Record in Foxborough, 27-15 (1-0)
Record in Boston, 2-2
Record in Miami, 14-33 (Incl. 1-1 in playoffs)
Record at Dolphins / Pro Player / Joe Robbie/ Sun Life, 10-15
Record at Orange Bowl, 3-18 (1-1)
Record in Tampa*, 1-0
Seasonal Sweeps, Patriots 8, Dolphins 13
Seasonal Splits, 23 (Most recent 2009)
Bill Belichick vs. Miami, 15-11 (15-9 with New England)
PATRIOTS-DOLPHINS QUICK HITS
- Since Bill Belichick became Patriots head coach in 2000, New England is 15-9 (.625) against the Miami Dolphins.
- Since 2000, the Patriots are 59-21 (.738) against AFC East opponents. The Patriots are 15-9 against the Dolphins over that span and are 18-8 against the New York Jets and 23-3 against the Buffalo Bills in that time.
- 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.
- In nine career games against the Dolphins, Wes Welker has caught 75 passes for 981 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 8.3 catches and 109 receiving yards per game against his former club. Those averages are the best against any team Welker has faced more than once in his career. He also has five 100-yard games against Miami with a 138-yard game at Miami (10/21/07), a 120-yard game at Miami (11/23/08), a 10-catch, 167-yard game in 2009 at Miami (12/06/09), eight receptions for 160 yards, including a 99- yard touchdown at Miami (9/12) in the 2011 season-opener and 12 receptions for 138 yards vs. Miami (12/24/11). Welker has three 100-yard games each against Buffalo and the New York Jets.
Tom Brady is scheduled to start at quarterback against Miami for the 21st time and has compiled a 14-6 record in his previous 20 starts against the Dolphins. Brady is 53-12 in his career as a starter in the regular-season against AFC East opponents, with six of the 12 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.
BRADY AGAINST THE AFC EAST
As a starter against the AFC East, Tom Brady owns a 53-12 (.797) record. He is 20-2 against Buffalo, 17-4 against the New York Jets, 14-6 against Miami and was 2-0 against Indianapolis when they were in the AFC East (2001 season).
New England Ties
- Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin was born in Springfield, Mass. and kicked off his coaching career at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, Mass.) in 1986. Philbin coached the offensive line at WPI from 1986-87. Philbin returned to New England in 1995, serving as the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach at Northeastern University from 1995-96 and the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach at Harvard University from 1997-98.
- Dolphins Defensive Backs Coach Lou Anarumo served as the Harvard University assistant head coach from 1995-2000.
- Dolphins Assistant Linebackers Coach David Corrao coached the tight ends at Northeastern University in 2004.
- Dolphins Defensive Coordinator Kevin Coyle attended the University of Massachusetts and spent nine seasons coaching at Holy Cross (1982-90).
- Dolphins Assistant Special teams Coach Dave Fipp began his coaching career serving as the special teams coordinator/secondary coach at Holy Cross from 1998-99.
- Dolphins Offensive Assistant Ben Johnson served as the offensive graduate assistant coach at Boston College from 2010-11.
- Dolphins Wide Receivers Coach Ken O'Keefe attended the University of Maine and began his coaching career at the University of New Haven, serving as an assistant coach from 1976-77. O'Keefe also coached at Worcester Academy (Worcester, Mass.) from 1978-84.
- Dolphins Assistant Wide Receivers Coach Phil McGeoghan played wide receiver at the University of Maine from 1998- 2000. In 2007, McGeoghan returned to Maine to coach the tight ends and wide receivers. In 2008, McGeoghan served as the offensive coordinator at the Naval Academy Prep School in Newport, RI.
- Dolphins Assistant Offensive Line Coach Chris Mosley served as a Boston College offensive graduate assistant in 2007.
- Dolphins Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Dave Puloka grew up in Arlington, Mass. where he attended high school. Puloka attended Holy Cross College from 1997-00.
- Dolphins Special Teams Coordinator Darren Rizzi attended the University of Rhode Island from 1988-92. Rizzi has multiple coaching ties to the region: Special Teams/Defensive Line (1994-96) and Defensive Coordinator (1997) at the University of New Haven, Special Teams/Linebackers Coach (1998) at Northeastern University, and Head Coach (2008) at the University of Rhode Island.
- Dolphins Offensive Coordinator Mike Sherman is a native of Norwood, Mass. and played defensive end and offensive tackle at Central Connecticut State University (New Britain, Conn.). Sherman coached the offensive line at Holy Cross from 1985-87 and served as the team's offensive coordinator in 1988.
- Dolphins Offensive Line Coach Jim Turner is a native of Braintree, Mass. and was a three-year letterman at Boston College. Turner began his coaching career at Braintree High School in 1988 and received his first college coaching position at Northeastern University in 1994. During his time at Northeastern, Turner coached the offensive line and tight ends from 1994-95, the running backs in 1996 and the defensive line from 1997-98. After a year at Louisiana Tech University, Turner returned to New England as served as the Harvard University offensive line coach/run game coordinator from 2000-02. Turner returned to New England in 2007 and spent one season as the offensive line coach at Boston College.
- Dolphins Assistant Director of Pro Scouting Chris Shea is a native of Belmont, Mass and went to Boston College. Additionally, Shea acted as the Football Recruiting Assistant at Boston College (1998-00) and Assistant Offensive Line Coach for Harvard University (1997-98).
- Dolphins Director of College Scouting Chris Grier is a native of Holliston, Mass. and attended the University of Massachusetts-Amherst before graduating in 1994. He is the son of former Patriots' Vice President of Player Personnel Bobby Grier.
- Dolphins Director of Player Personnel Brian Gaine attended the University of Maine (1991-95) and played tight end for the Black Bears.
- Dolphins Director of College Scouting Chris Grier, a native of Holliston, Mass. was an intern with the Patriots in 1994 and joined the team as a regional scout on a full-time basis the following year.
- Miami TE Will Yeatman was originally signed by New England as a rookie free agent in 2011 and went to training camp with the Patriots prior to the 2011 season.
Miami, Fla. Ties
- Patriots DL Vince Wilfork is a native of Boynton Beach, Fla. and played at the University of Miami from 2001-03. Wilfork recorded 148 tackles (73 solo) with 14.0 sacks during his career at Miami. Wilfork also excelled on the Hurricanes track and field team, performing in the shot put.
- Patriots rookie DE Justin Francis is a native of Opa-Locka, Fla.
Patriots WR Wes Welker played for Miami from 2005-06 and totaled 1,121 yards on 96 receptions during his two seasons with the team.
* Patriots OL Donald Thomas was originally drafted by Miami in the sixth-round of the 2008 NFL Draft and earned the starting right guard position as a rookie out of training camp. Thomas sustained an injury in the season opener of his rookie season and was placed on Injured Reserve. Thomas came back from the injury to play in all 16 games for the Dolphins in 2009 and made 12 starts at right guard.
* Patriots DL Rob Ninkovich played for the Dolphins in 2007 and 2008. Ninkovich played in five games during his two year stint with Miami.
* Patriots LB Mike Rivera appeared in one game with the Dolphins earlier this season. Rivera was also with Miami in 2010.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR THIS WEEK AT MIAMI
Bill Belichick (200) needs one more win to tie Dan Reeves for seventh place all-time.
With one touchdown pass against the Dolphins, Tom Brady will extend his streak to 44 straight games with at least one touchdown pass and continue his third longest streak all time, behind Drew Brees (54-current) and Johnny Unitas (47).
Brady has 52 career 300-yard games in the regular season and needs one more to break a fifth place tie with Kurt Warner. Drew Brees and Brett Favre are tied for third with 62 300-yard games.
Brady tied Drew Brees with his ninth NFL game with four touchdowns, 300 yards and no interceptions against St. Louis and needs one more such game to be alone in first place.
Brady has 35 games with three touchdowns and no interceptions and needs one more such game to tie Brett Favre (36) for second place, behind Peyton Manning (37). Brady (3,671) needs 16 completions to move past Fran Tarkenton (3,686) into 9th place on the NFL's all-time completion list. Vinny Testaverde is in 8th place with 3,787 completions.
Stephen Gostkowski (7-of-10) needs one more 50-yard field goal to tie Adam Vinatieri (8-of-17) for most 50-yard field goals in Patriots history. Gostkowski has two 50-yarders so far in 2012 and can become the first Patriots player with three 50-yard field goals in a single season.
With 10 tackles, Jerod Mayo will have his sixth straight 10- plus tackle game and his 10th 10-plus tackle game of the season. He had a career-best with 10 double digit tackle games in 2010.
Rob Ninkovich has a team-leading five forced fumbles. If he has one more forced fumble he will break a tie with Mike Vrabel (five in 2007) for the most forced fumbles for a Patriots player within the last 20 years. Ninkovich has 6.0 sacks in 2012 and needs one more to set a career best. He had 6.5 sacks in 2011.
Stevan Ridley (939) needs 61 yards rushing to reach 1,000 yards and give New England its 15th 1,000-yard rushing season. He will be the 12th Patriots player to reach 1,000 yards and first since BenJarvus Green-Ellis in 2010.
Wes Welker (16) needs one more 10-plus catch game to break a second place tie with Marvin Harrison (16) and Andre Johnson (16) and tie Jerry Rice (17) for the most 10-catch games in NFL history. Welker needs one reception to extend his streak to 89 straight regular-season games with at least one reception as a member of the Patriots to extend his franchise record. Welker has an overall streak of 105 straight regular-season games with at least one reception, including his time with the Miami Dolphins. Welker (961) needs 39 receiving yards for his 5th career 1,000 yard season
The Patriots are 19-0 in the second half of the season since 2010. In both 2010 and 2011, the Patriots were 8-0 in the second half of the season. Their last loss in the second half was in the 2009 season-finale at Houston, a 34-27 loss, on Jan. 3, 2010. With one more victory the patriots will secure their 12th straight winning season.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
BY THE NUMBERS
The Patriots have lost three games in 2012 by a total of four points. They are the first team to lose three games by two points or less in the first six games since the 1960 Dallas Texans.
Rookie DE Chandler Jones has forced three fumbles on sacks so far in 2012.
Julian Edelman returned his third career punt for a TD vs. Indianapolis and joins Troy Brown and Irving Fryar as the only Patriots with three punts returned for a touchdown.
Rob Ninkovich has three forced fumbles on sacks so far in 2012.
The number of interceptions in 2012 by rookie S Tavon Wilson, one more than the total he had during his college career at Illinois.
The number of sacks by rookie DE Chandler Jones in the first 11 games of the season. The Patriots rookie record for most sacks in a season is 10.5 by Garin Veris in 1985.
The number of strip-sack/turnovers the Patriots have in 2012 with one by Vince Wilfork and 3 each by Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich.
The number of 20-yard runs by RB Stevan Ridley. Since 2000, Corey Dillon and Antowain Smith are tied with 13 runs of 20 or more, followed by Ridley and Laurence Maroney (11).
The number of times that Wes Welker has reached 100 yards receiving in a single half (6 in the first half and 3 in the second).
The Patriots have forced a turnover in 22 straight games, dating back to 2011 and including the first 11 games of 2012. The last team to have at least one forced turnover in all 16 regular season games was the 2010 Atlanta Falcons.
The number of forced turnovers by the Patriots in 2012 (14 interceptions and 18 fumble recoveries), second in the NFL to Chicago (33). The Patriots' record for most forced turnovers in a season is 50 by the 1976 team. The most under the Belichick era is 41 by the 2003 team.
The number of first downs by the Patriots vs. Denver (10/7) to set a franchise record and make the Patriots the first team since the 1970 merger to have three straight games with 30 or more first downs.
Julian Edelman had a 47-yard run vs. Indianapolis, the longest run ever by a Patriots wide receiver, topping a 35-yard run by Troy Brown in 2000.
During the Patriots 19-game second half winning streak, the Patriots have forced opponents into 56 turnovers, while turning the ball over just five times.
The number of points by the Patriots in the last two games (59 and 49), the third highest total in a two-game span in NFL history.
The number of rushing yards through the first 11 games by Stevan Ridley, putting him on pace to finish the year with 1,366 yards and become the 12th Patriots player to reach 1,000 yards.
TOM BRADY BY THE NUMBERS
Tom Brady became the first player to follow a 500-yard performance with a 400-yard performance after Brady had backto- back games with 517 yards and 423 yards to start 2011.
The number of seasons that Brady has reached 4,000 passing yards. His four 4,000-yard seasons are tied with Warren Moon and Philip Rivers for the fifth most in NFL history.
The number of times that Brady has thrown for at least three touchdowns with no interceptions, third in NFL history behind Peyton Manning (37) and Brett Favre (36).
The number of consecutive fourth-and-one conversations by Brady.
The number of consecutive games that Brady has thrown at least one touchdown pass, third best behind 54 by Drew Brees and 47 by Johnny Unitas.
The number of regular season 300-yard passing games by Tom Brady, a team record.
The number of times that Brady has thrown two or more touchdowns in a game. The Patriots are 88-16 when he throws for two or more touchdowns.
The number of passing yards by Brady in 2011, the second most in a season in NFL history.
THE KRAFT ERA
The number of Super Bowl championships the Patriots have won since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. That mark is the highest total in the NFL over that span. Only Denver (2; 1997 and 1998), Pittsburgh (2; 2005 and 2008) and the NY Giants (2: 2007 and 2011) have won multiple Super Bowl titles since 1994.
The number of conference championships the Patriots have won since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. That mark is the highest total in the NFL over that span. Pittsburgh is second with four conference titles since 1994.
The number of division championships won by the Patriots since Kraft purchased the team in 1994.
The number of playoff seasons earned by the Patriots in the 18 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team.
The number of playoff games the Patriots have won since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. That mark is the highest total in the NFL over that span. Pittsburgh ranks second with 17 playoff wins over that span.
The number of playoff games the Patriots have appeared in since 1994, the most in the NFL. Pittsburgh has the second most with 27.
The number of consecutive home games that have been sold out, including playoff and postseason games dating back to the 1994 season opener.
THE BELICHICK ERA
Bill Belichick is one of just four coaches to win three championships since the Super Bowl era began. Belichick joins three members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the exclusive club (Chuck Noll 4, Joe Gibbs 3 and Bill Walsh 3). Belichick is the only coach to win three Super Bowls in the post-1993 salary cap era and the only one to ever win three in four years.
Bill Belichick has 200 career victories as a head coach, including playoff games for 8th place all-time.