The Patriots (8-3) look to put the official wraps on the AFC East this Sunday with a win in Miami against the Dolphins (5-6).
A win would give New England its 12th straight winning season, the third-longest streak in NFL history.The Patriots aren’t thinking about records, though – just victories. The Dolphins just happen to be next in line, and at a time in the season when more is at stake.
“Well, there’s always motivation for us to go out there and win and this is a great opportunity for us,” quarterback Tom Brady said. “We haven’t played these guys all season; it’s the first time getting a shot at them and we play them down there in their stadium.”
The Patriots’ all-time record in Miami is an ugly 14-33, but you can chalk up a lot of those losses to the teams that came before Brady and Bill Belichick. Still, Brady’s record against Miami on the road is a very mediocre 5-5, although he’s won the last two there.
But the Pats are coming off the highest of highs after an embarrassing beat-down of the Jets on Thanksgiving. Brady agrees that the team is clicking, but cautions against putting too much stock in past games.
“I think we have [clicked]. We have done that,” Brady said. “But we have to continue to do it; I think that’s the important thing. Last week’s game is going to have no bearing on this week’s game. That’s not the way football works. Whether you win or lose, you have to put the previous week’s game behind you and move on.”
And the longer the season moves on, the more important the games will get. New England is fighting for a first-round bye, and with games coming up against Houston and San Francisco, they can’t afford dropping one to the 'Fins.
“With each game we play one less, and each one becomes bigger,” Belichick said. ”So that’s obvious. 16 games is 16 games, but now there’s five left so it’s a five-game season. This is one of five so this is 20-percent of what we got left. You couldn’t say that a few weeks ago, and I’m sure they’ll get bigger each week as we go.”