The New England Patriots host their AFC East Rival Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. It was flexed from it’s original 1 p.m. start.
|The Dolphins||----||The Patriots|
|Road record||2-5||Home record||5-2|
|AFC East||2-3||AFC East||5-0|
Jerome Boger is the referee assigned to the game.
As of Thursday the line on the game from 5dimes.eu via Yahoo Sports has the Patriots at MINUS 11. The over/under is 46.
My Prediction is Patriots 35, Dolphins, 17. Give the points (PATRIOTS) and take the over. I am 3-12 against the spread and 10 of 15 on calling the over/under in 2012.
The Patriots are reporting the game as a sell out. It is the 203rd consecutive sell out dating back to the 1994 season opener. The record includes preseason, regular season and playoff games.
Tickets to the game, if available, can be purchased through Ticketmaster. You can check the availability here.
After market tickets are available through the Official Patriots Ticket Exchange where season ticket holders can sell their unused seats to fans on the season ticket waiting list.
Getting to the Game
If you’re lucky enough to be going to the game in Foxboro make sure you check out the links.
Prior to the game the Patriots will honor Gil Santos and Gino Cappelletti who for 28 years called Patriots games together on the radio. Cappelletti retired after the 2011 season and Santos has announced he will retire after this season.
Here is the up to date weather forecast from the Weather Channel for Foxboro MA.
Here’s a bunch of different tailgating recipes from Tailgating.com. There’s something there for everyone and every type of meal or snack. I’ve tried some of the recipes and they’re very good.
And with tailgating many people enjoy some adult beverages. With that in mind check out Drink Nation for how to make all sorts of great drinks. You can look things up by name, ingredient(s) or theme.
Whether it’s at the game, a bar or a friend’s house moderation is always the key to a great time. Please don’t drink and drive and designate a sober driver. Remember You Drink, You Drive, You Lose.
CBS in televising the game regionally and Jim Nantz will do play by play while Phil Simms will provide the game analysis. You can look here for your local affiliate.
See if you’re getting the game courtesy of J.P. Kirby at the506.com.
The DirecTV designation is Channel 713.
Here are all the rules on NFL TV broadcasts including explaining the blackout rules, flex scheduling and commercial breaks.
This is Gil Santos final regular season Patriots game. He will retire after the playoffs after 36 seasons and over 740 Patriots games called. Santos began calling games for the Boston Patriots at Fenway Park in 1966. He called the games for the Patriots for the next 14 seasons (1966-79). He returned to the booth in 1991 and has broadcast every Patriots game since then.
The Patriots Radio Network broadcasts the game from flagship station WBZ-FM, 98.5 the Sports Hub in Boston. Gil Santos handles the play-by-play and former Patriots QB Scott Zolak will do the game analysis. It all starts with Gary Tanguay and Andy Gresh with the pregame show at 1 p.m. along the network. The post game starts after the final gun and continues for three hours along the network.
The Patriots Radio Network call is available on Sirius Channel 94, XM Channel 227 and SiriusXM Internet Channel 818.
The Dolphins Radio Network has former Dolphins WR Jimmy Cefalo calling play-by-play and former Dolphins TE Joe Rose and former Dolphins LB Kim Bokamper providing the color with Keith Sims on the sidelines via their flagship stations WINZ and WBGG-FM.
Their call is available on Sirius Channel 134 and SiriusXM Internet Channel 816.
Patriots All Access
Patriots All-Access features behind the scenes looks, interviews and breakdowns with head coach Bill Belichick and in depth features on the team. It’s hosted by Steve Burton of WBZ-TV (Boston) and airs weekly in most New England television markets.
- Boston MA on TV 38 Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
- Providence RI on WNAC Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
- Manchester NH on WMUR Saturday at midnight
- Portland ME on WMTW Sunday at 5 a.m.
- Hartford CT on WCTX Saturday at 5 p.m.
- Springfield MA on WFXQ Saturday at 7 p.m.
- Bangor ME on WVII Sunday at 11 a.m.
You can also watch it anytime on the teams website in the media section.
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The Patriots held off the Jaguars on the road, 23-16. The Dolphins wrapped up their home slate of games with a 24-10 win over the Bills.
- This is the 95th meeting between the Patriots and the Dolphins since they started to face each other as AFL foes in 1966 when Miami became a franchise.
- The Dolphins lead the all-time series 50-44. This includes 3 meetings in the playoffs (1982, 1985, 1997) with the Patriots holding a 2-1 post season edge.
- The two teams met earlier this season, Week 13 in Miami, with the Patriots winning 23-16.
Patriots Team Notes
The Patriots overall franchise record is 425-369-9. They have won three Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX) in seven appearances. Overall they are 23-16 in the post season.
They last appeared in the playoffs in 2011 when they beat Denver home in the AFC Divisional Playoff, 45-10 and defeated Baltimore 23-20 in Foxboro in the AFC Championship Game. They lost Super Bowl XLVI to the New York Giants 21-17.
The Patriots are the defending two-time AFC East Champions as well as the defending AFC Conference Champions. They have won the division 8 times including this season and the conference 5 times since 2000.
With a win on Sunday the Patriots will have gone undefeated in division play for the 2nd time in team history (2007). They have had 1 division loss 7 times (1987,1997, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2010 and 2011).
This is the 13th time the Patriots have faced the Dolphins in the season finale, the 7th time in Foxboro.
With 1 first down on Sunday the Patriots will set a new NFL record for most first downs in a season.
Since 1999 the Patriots have the best record in the NFL at 158-65.
Since 2001 the Patriots are 73-17 in games played on Thanksgiving or later.
Since 2001 New England is 44-6 in December games. At home in December they are 21-2.
New England is 60-21 vs. the AFC East since 2000 in the regular season.
Since Gillette Stadium opened the Patriots are 26-5 against the AFC East.
The Patriots have won 14 of the last 19 games between the teams.
New England is 29-17 as the home team in the series including playoffs.
The Patriots are looking for a series sweep of Miami for the 3rd consecutive season.
The Patriots have swept the Dolphins 8 times in the series history including 5 times in the Belichick era (2003-04, 07, 10-11).
The New England defense held Miami to a season low 7 passing first downs and 13 completions in the Week 13 game.
The New England defense has forced a turnover in 26 consecutive games dating back to Week 6 in 2011.
The Patriots have seven non-offensive touchdowns in 2012. The 2010 Patriots and 1961 Patriots teams own the team record with nine non-offensive touchdowns. The NFL record for most non-offensive touchdowns is 13 by Seattle in 1998.
Date Game Touchdown
9/9/12 at Tennessee Dont’a Hightower 6-yd. Fumble Return
10/21/12 vs. N.Y. Jets Devin McCourty 104-yd. Kickoff Return
11/18/12 vs. Indianapolis Julian Edelman 68-yd. Punt Return
11/18/12 vs. Indianapolis Aqib Talib 59-yd. Int. Return
11/18/12 vs. Indianapolis Alfonzo Dennard 87-yd. Int. return
11/22/12 at N.Y. Jets Steve Gregory 32-yd. Fumble Return
11/22/12 at N.Y. Jets Julian Edelman 22-yd. Fumble Return
The Patriots are 1st in the NFL in points per game with 35.3. While they allow 22.1 points per game good for 17th in the NFL.
The New England defense has sacked the opponents quarterback 30 times this season while their quarterbacks have been sacked 26 times.
New England is PLUS 23 in turnover differential, 1st in the NFL. The offense has given up 9 INT and 7 fumbles, while the defense has 19 INTs and 20 fumble recoveries.
The Patriots are 102 for 210 (48.6%) in 3rd down efficiency and 6 for 9 (66.7%) on fourth down attempts. Opponents are 77 for 192 (40.1%) in 3rd down efficiency and 9 for 22 (40.9%) on 4th down attempts.
New England is 37 of 55 (67.3%) in the red zone while opponents are 20 for 35 (57.1%) in the red zone in 2012.
In goal to go situations New England is 28 for 34 (82.4%) and opponents are 15 for 20 (75%).
Since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994 they:
- Have the most Super Bowl wins, 3.
- Have the most regular season wins, 204.
- Have the most wins including playoffs, 223.
- Have the most conference titles, 6.
- Have the most division titles, 11.
- Have the most playoff wins, 19
- Have played the most playoff games, 29.
- Are tied for the most playoff seasons, 13.
- Have the best playoff win percentage, .671.
- Have drafted the most Pro Bowl players, 20.
Patriots Staff Notes
This is the link to head coach Bill Belichick’s Wednesday press conference on the Dolphins.
Bill Belichick coached teams are 16-11 vs. Miami. Belichick is 16-9 as Patriots head coach and he was 0-2 as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
Overall in his NFL career Belichick is 186-101 in his 18th NFL season. He is 150-57 with New England and 36-44 with Cleveland. He is 17-7 in the playoffs, 16-6 as head coach of the Patriots in the post season. When you combine his regular season and post season records he is 203-108.
Belichick’s 203 wins are good for 7th all-time. Marty Schottenheimer who coached the Browns, Chiefs, Redskins and Chargers is 6th with 205 wins.
Belichick is one of five head coaches in NFL history whose father (Steve Belichick) played in the league. The others are former Kansas City head coach Todd Haley (Dick Haley), former San Francisco head coach Mike Nolan (Dick Nolan), former Cincinnati head coach David Shula (Don Shula) and former NY Jets head coach Joe Walton (Frank Walton).
Belichick is one of just four coaches to win three Super Bowls, joining Chuck Noll (4), Joe Gibbs (3) and Bill Walsh (3). Those men are all in the Hall of Fame.
He is the only coach in NFL history to win three championship titles in four seasons.
He is the only coach in NFL history to have led his team to 10+ wins in 10 consecutive seasons.
Special Teams coach Scott O’Brien was a member of Nick Saban’s staff in Miami in 2005-06.
Patriots Possible Starters
- LT: Soldier
- LG: Mankins
- C: Wendell
- RG: Connolly
- RT: Vollmer
- TE: Hernandez
- WR: Lloyd
- WR: Welker
- WR: Branch
- QB: Brady
- RB: Ridley
- DE: Scott
- DT: Wilfork
- DT: Love
- DE: C. Jones
- LB: Ninkovich
- LB: Mayo
- LB: Hightower
- LCB: Cole
- RCB: Arrington
- S: McCourty
- S: Gregory
Patriots Players Notes
The Patriots placed 7 players on the AFC Pro Bowl team. They are G Logan Mankins, TE Rob Gronkowski, LB Jerod Mayo and DT Vince Wilfork who were voted as starters. QB Tom Brady and WR Wes Welker were named as reserves and WR Matthew Slater made it as a special teams player.
This is Tom Brady’s 13th NFL season he is 15-6 vs. the Dolphins.
Overall Brady is 135-39 as a starting QB and is 16-6 in the playoffs for an overall record of 151-45. Brady is a 7 time Pro Bowl QB; two time NFL MVP and has won 3 Super Bowls while twice being named the games MVP. He is also listed as the 21st Greatest Player in the History of the NFL according to the NFL Network.
He was ranked in the preseason by ESPN’s Ron Jaworski as the 3rd best quarterback in the NFL.
Brady has 332 TD passes in his career he is now 5th all-time. Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton is 4th with 342.
Brady has 135 regular season career wins he is 5th all-time.
Brady has thrown at least 1 TD pass in 47 consecutive games. He is tied with Hall of Fame member Johnny Unitas for the second longest streak in NFL history.
The Patriots are 90-16 when Brady throws at least 2 TD passes in a game.
Brady has 53 games in his career with 300 or more passing yards he is 5th all-time.
On the season Brady is 379 of 601 (63.4%) for 4543 yards with 32 TDs and 8 INTs his QB rating is 98.3.
WR Wes Welker now has catches in 116 consecutive games including playoffs, 99 as a Patriot. The last time Welker did not have a catch in a game was 12/24/05 as a Dolphin.
Welker leads the team with 110 catches for 1260 yards. He is the 1st player in NFL history to have five 100+ catch seasons.
Welker has the second most receptions (760) all-time among undrafted receivers. Rod Smith is the NFL’s all-time leader with 849.
He had 12 catches and 103 receiving yards against the Dolphins in the Week 13 game in Miami.
WR Brandon Lloyd (902) needs 98 receiving yards against Miami to become the 10th Patriots player to have a 1,000-yard receiving season.
TE Rob Gronkowski has 37 receiving touchdowns and 38 touchdowns overall (1 rushing) since 2010. The NFL record for most receiving touchdowns in a player’s first three NFL seasons is 43 by Randy Moss and the NFL record for most touchdowns overall by a player in his first three NFL seasons is 47 by Barry Sanders (4 receiving and 43 rushing).
Gronkowski is expected to return to action for the first time after suffering a broken arm against Indianapolis in Week 11.
He leads the team with RB Stevan Ridley with 10 TDs.
Ridley leads the team in rushing with 1189 yards on 270 carries. He is the 12th Patriot to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and first since BenJarvis Green-Ellis in 2010.
With 11 rushing yards Ridley will be the 5th Patriot to have rushed for 1200 yards in a season.
K Stephen Gostkowski has two field goals of 50 or more yards in 2012. With one more he will be the first Patriots kicker with three field goals of 50 or more yards in one season.
Gostkowski (7 for 10) needs one more field goal of 50 or more yards to tie Adam Vinatieri (8 for 17) for most in team history.
LB Jerod Mayo continues to lead the team with 176 tackles (110 solo). The team usually adjusts the counts based on coaches film study so in the Friday game preview we will have Mayo’s official total.
DE Rob Ninkovich leads the team with 8 sacks. It is a new career high for sacks.
Rookie DE Chandler Jones also leads the team with 12 QB hits.
Ninkovich and LB Brandon Spikes lead the team in forced fumbles with 5 each which ties Mike Vrabel’s franchise record.
DT Vince Wilfork and Ninkovich lead the team with 4 recovered fumbles.
DE Trevor Scott had a two sack game against the Dolphins in Week 13 at Miami.
DB Devin McCourty leads the team with 5 INTs. Rookie S Tavon Wilson is second with 4 INTs, he now has more INTs in his rookie NFL season than he did in his college career at Illinois.
McCourty also has team high 13 passes defensed in 2012. CB Kyle Arrington is 2nd with 10 passes defensed.
WR Matthew Slater has a team leading 20 special teams tackles. Rookie S Nate Ebner is 2nd with 17 special teams tackles.
Former Dolphins now with the Patriots are WR Wes Welker, T Donald Thomas, DE Rob Ninkovich, LB Mike Rivera and CB Will Allen (IR).
DT Vince Wilfork is a native of Boynton Beach FL.
DE Justin Francis is a native of Opa-Locka FL.
There are only three players on the team who played on at least one of the Super Bowl championship teams, Brady (3), Deion Branch (2) and Wilfork (1).
Roster moves this week:
- DE Jermaine Cunningham was activated to the 53-man roster on Saturday will be able to play on Sunday after serving a 4 game NFL suspension.
- WR Kamar Aiken was released.
- RB James Develin was released.
- WR Tony Logan and OL Jeremiah Warren were released from the practice squad.
- Signed RB James Develin, WR Kamar Aiken and S Cyhl Quarles to the practice squad.
- Released DL Ron Brace.
- Signed WR Kamar Aiken and DB Malcolm Williams to 53-man roster.
The Patriots captains for 2012 are QB Tom Brady, DT Vince Wilfork, G Logan Mankins, LB Jerod Mayo, CB Devin McCourty and WR Matthew Slater (special teams).
The Patriots have 5 New England natives on the roster they are: TE Aaron Hernandez (Bristol CT); OL Donald Thomas (New Haven CT); DE Ron Brace (Worcester MA); LB Niko Koutouvides (Plainville CT) and OL Jamey Richard (Weston CT - IR).
They have 10 players who played for a New England school or a Big East Conference member. They are CB Will Allen (Syracuse – IR); DE Ron Brace (Boston College); RB Tony Fiametta (Syracuse – Exempt List); DE Justin Francis (Rutgers); S Stephen Gregory (Syracuse); DE Chandler Jones (Syracuse); CB Devin McCourty (Rutgers); OL Donald Thomas (UConn); RB James Develin (Brown – Practice Squad) and NT Vince Wilfork (Miami).
The Patriots have 6 retired numbers: 20 – Gino Cappelletti, 40 – Mike Haynes, 73 – John Hannah, 78 – Bruce Armstrong, 79 – Jim Lee Hunt and 89 – Bob Dee.
Dolphins Team Notes
Miami's all-time record is 407-308-4 they are 20-20 in the post season with their last post season appearance coming in 2008 when they lost to Baltimore in the AFC Wild Card game, 27-9.
They last played for a conference championship in 1992 when they lost to San Diego in the AFC Title game, 29-10.
They have won two Super Bowl titles (VII, VIII) in five appearances. They last appeared in a Super Bowl in 1984 losing to the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XIX, 38-16. The Dolphins franchise started in 1966 in the AFL.
This is the 40th anniversary year of the 1972 Dolphins undefeated season in which they finished 17-0 and won Super Bowl VII beating Washington 14-7.
The Dolphins are 17-29 as the road team in the series and 2-8 at Gillette Stadium.
Dolphins largest margin of victory in the series is 52 points. Their largest margin of loss is 34 points.
Miami has lost the last 5 meetings between the teams.
Dolphins longest series win streak is 9 games from 1989-93.
Miami has two shut outs in the series, while they have been shut out three times.
The Fish are 31-42 vs. the AFC East since 2001.
The Dolphins are 25th in the NFL in points per game with 19.2. While they allow 19.3 points per game good for 6th in the NFL.
The Miami defense has sacked the opponents quarterback 30 times this season while their quarterbacks have been sacked 41 times.
Miami is MINUS 8 in turnover differential. The offense has given up 12 INT and 12 fumbles, while the defense has 10 INTs and 6 fumble recoveries.
The Dolphins are 73 for 194 (37.6%) in 3rd down efficiency and 5 for 14 (35.7%) on fourth down attempts. Opponents are 79 for 222 (35.6%) in 3rd down efficiency and 10 for 14 (71.4%) on 4th down attempts.
Dolphins Staff Notes
Hear what Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin had to say to the New England media about the match up.
Miami head coach Joe Philbin in his 1st season as an NFL head coach; he is 7-8 since taking over.
He is 0-1 against New England in his career.
Philbin, a Springfield MA native, is a former high school player and coach at Longmeadow (MA) High School. He also coached at Northeastern and Harvard as the offensive coordinator.
Prior to coming to Miami he was the offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers since 2007.
He is the 10th head coach in Miami franchise history.
Philbin lost his 21-year old son Michael this past January in a tragic water accident in Wisconsin. He and his wife also have five other children.
Defensive Coordinator Kevin Coyle played DB at UMass from 1975-77. He coached at College of the Holy Cross from 1982-1990.
Assistant special teams coach Dave Fipp coached at the College of the Holy Cross from 1998-99.
Offensive assistant Ben Johnson was a coach at Boston College in 2010 and 2011.
Assistant wide receivers coach Phil McGeoghan was born in Springfield MA and was a WR at the University of Maine from 1998-2000.
Assistant offensive line coach Chris Mosley coached at Boston College in 2007 and St. Anselm College in 2011.
Wide Receivers coach Ken O’Keefe was born in Milford CT. He coached at the University of New Haven in 1976-77.
Assistant strength and conditioning coach Dave Puloka was born in Arlington MA and was a linebacker at the College of the Holy Cross from 1997-2000.
Special Teams Coordinator Darren Rizzi was a tight end at the URI from 1988-91 and was a coach for the Rams in 1992. He returned as head coach of URI in 2008. He has also coached at the University of New Haven (1993-97 and was head coach 1999-2001) and Northeastern in 1998.
Offensive Coordinator Mike Sherman was born in Norwood MA and was a college lineman at Central Connecticut State College in 1974-77. He coached at College of the Holy Cross from 1985-88.
Offensive line coach Jim Turner was born in Boston MA and coached at Northeastern 1994-98 and Harvard 2000-02.
Director of College Scouting Chris Grier is a UMass graduate and former Patriots intern.
Director of Player Personnel Brian Gaine attended the University of Maine (1991-95) and played tight end for the Black Bears.
Dolphins Possible Starters
- LT: J. Martin
- LG: Incognito
- C: Pouncey
- RG: Jerry
- RT: Garner
- TE: Fasano
- WR: Mar. Moore
- WR: Hartline
- QB: Tannehill
- RB: Bush
- RB: Lane
- DE: Odrick
- DT: Soliai
- DT: Starks
- DE: Wake
- LB: Burnett
- LB: Dansby
- LB: Trusnik
- LCB: McCann
- RCB: Stanford
- S: R. Jones
- S: Clemons
Dolphins Players Notes
The Dolphins placed 1 player on the AFC Pro Bowl team. DE Cameron Wake was named as a starter.
Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill is in his first season in the NFL and he is 7-8. He was Miami’s first round draft pick in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Texas A&M.
He is 0-1 vs. New England in his career.
He set the Miami rookie record for passing yards (3,059) when he passed Dan Marino (2,210). He is the 5th Miami QB to pass for 3,000 yards in a season.
Tannehill was the first rookie QB to start a season opener in Dolphins history.
With a start on Sunday he will be the first rookie QB in Dolphins history to start all 16 games.
Tannehill has not thrown an INT in 4+ games for a total of 137 attempts.
Tannehill is 262 of 449 (58.4%) for 3059 yards, 12 TDs and 12 INTs for a QB rating of 76.9.
WR/PR Davone Bess (1,196) needs just 36 yards to tie former Dolphin WR Wes Welker (1,232) for 2nd all-time on the Dolphins career punt return yards list.
Former S Jake Scott is the all-time franchise leader with 1,330 yards.
TE Anthony Fasano has 23 career TD’s and needs 1 more to tie Jim Mandich for 2nd place in team history.
RB Reggie Bush needs just 40 rushing yards for 1,000 on the season. He had a career high 1086 yards in 2011 his 1st season in Miami.
Bush also leads the Dolphins with 8 TD’s, 6 rushing, 2 receiving.
WR Brian Hartline needs 1 more reception to become the 11th player with 70 or more catches in a season. He leads the team in catches and receiving yards (1014).
Hartline has 24 catches in his career for 25 yards or more, 6th most in Dolphins history.
K Dan Carpenter has been placed on the season ending IR and has been replaced by former Chargers K Nate Kaeding.
RB/KR Marcus Thigpen has 2 return TD’s this season 1 on a punt, 1 on a kickoff.
DE Cameron Wake is 10th in team history in sacks with 43. He leads the Dolphins this year with 15 sacks.
LB Karlos Dansby leads Miami with 121 tackles (95 solo).
S Reshad Jones leads the team with 4 INTs and 2 recovered fumbles.
S Sean Smith is the team leader with 12 passes defensed.
Wake and Smith lead the Dolphins with 3 forced fumbles each.
LB Jason Trusnik leads Miami with 12 special teams tackles (10 solo).
TE Jeron Mastrud was a member of the Patriots practice squad in 2010. T Will Yeatman was in camp with the Patriots as a TE in 2011 but was waived.
Miami’s captains for 2012 are appointed weekly.
There are 4 players on the Dolphins roster from Big East universities and New England based colleges. They are WR Armon Binns (Cincinnati); LB Jonathan Freeney (Rutgers); G Josh Samuda (UMass) and DT Chas Alecxih (Pittsburgh – Practice Squad).
The Dolphins have three retired numbers: 12 – Bob Griese, 13 – Dan Marino and 39 – Larry Csonka.
The Patriots will have a home playoff game and depending on the results of several games on Sunday they will either play in the AFC Wild Card Round January 5-6, 2013 or the AFC Divisional Round January 12-13, 2013.
Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveMichaelsII