NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-3) at MIAMI DOLPHINS (7-6)
DATE: Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013
TIME: 1 p.m. ET
SITE: Sun Life Stadium
TV ANNOUNCERS: Jim Nantz, play-by-play; Phil Simms, analysis
DOLPHINS RADIO NETWORK: Clear Channel, WBGG (105.9 FM) and WINZ (940 AM) and a network of affiliates throughout Florida; WQBA (1140 AM-Spanish)
RADIO VOICES: English broadcast — Jimmy Cefalo, Bob Griese, Joe Rose, Keith Sims; Spanish broadcast — Raul Striker, Joaquin Duro
SERIES RECORD: Miami leads 50-46 (including playoffs)
AT MIAMI: Dolphins lead 33-14
AT NEW ENGLAND: Patriots lead 31-17
AT TAMPA: Patriots lead 1-0
LAST MEETING: 2013 at New England; Patriots 27, Dolphins 17
HISTORY LESSON: The Dolphins have played host to the Patriots in December four times in the past 10 years and have three memorable victories to show for it. The first was the Monday night upset in 2004 when the Dolphins beat the defending and eventual Super Bowl champions, 29-28, on a last-minute touchdown pass from A.J. Feeley to Derrius Thompson. In 2006, the Dolphins held Tom Brady to 78 yards passing in a 21-0 victory, the last time the Patriots were shut out. Finally, there was the 2009 game where the Dolphins rallied from a 21-10 deficit, took a 22-21 lead on a Dan Carpenter field goal with 1:02 left in regulation, and clinched the victory with a Channing Crowder interception.
SERIES TREND: Unfortunately for the Dolphins, they haven’t been able to beat the Patriots since that December 2009 game at Sun Life Stadium. Making things more frustrating is the fact that the Dolphins have had chances. In addition to the game earlier this season when the Dolphins led 17-0 in the second quarter, the Dolphins also led 17-0 at halftime on Dec. 24, 2011 and they were within seven points on three different occasions in last year’s 23-16 loss at Sun Life Stadium.
PATRIOTS’ RECORD: 10-3
LAST GAME: Won vs. Cleveland, 27-26
OVERVIEW: The Patriots clinched their 11th consecutive season with double-digit victories when they rallied from a 26-14 deficit in the last two minutes against the Browns last Sunday. It was the latest in a series of comebacks this season for the Patriots, who also came from behind to beat the Bills, Saints, Broncos, Texans and, of course, the Dolphins. New England has put itself in position to have a chance at the top seed in the AFC playoffs despite the offseason losses of Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez and season-ending injuries to key players like Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo and most recently Rob Gronkowski.
KEY NEW FACES: WR Aaron Dobson (draft-2nd round), LB Jamie Collins (draft-2nd), CB Logan Ryan (draft-3rd), RB LeGarrette Blount (Tampa Bay), WR Danny Amendola (St. Louis)
KEY VETERANS GONE: WR Wes Welker, TE Aaron Hernandez, DT Vince Wilfork (IR), LB Jerod Mayo (IR), TE Rob Gronkowski (IR), T Sebastian Vollmer (IR), RB Danny Woodhead, G Donald Thomas, WR Brandon Lloyd, P Zoltan Mesko, OLB Jermaine Cunningham