|Last 3 Games||3-0||+3||1-2||3-0||31.7||2.3||459.0||(6.2)||2.0||29.3||15.7||430.3||(6.1)||1.7|
|Offense (All Games)||26.8||10.4||23.4||29:57||29-120||(4.2)||24-40||60.8%||266||(6.6)||69-386||(5.6)||(14.4)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||23.3||11.8||19||30:58||27-106||(4)||21-36||60.5%||229||(6.4)||62-335||(5.4)||(14.4)|
|Offense Road Games||23.3||10.2||23.2||30:23||26-109||(4.2)||24-41||59.3%||268||(6.5)||67-377||(5.6)||(16.2)|
|Defense (All Games)||22.1||10.3||21.5||31:49||30-136||(4.5)||21-37||56.5%||236||(6.4)||67-372||(5.5)||(16.9)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||22.5||11.8||19.7||31:39||27-108||(4)||22-36||61.2%||238||(6.5)||63-346||(5.5)||(15.4)|
|Defense Road Games||23.7||10.7||21.3||31:16||32-126||(4)||20-33||61.8%||232||(7)||65-359||(5.5)||(15.2)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.7||0.7||1.4||0.5||14-5||37.1%||1-0||46.2%||3-54||(21.4)||3-28||(11.2)||4-41|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0.9||0.5||1.4||1.9||14-5||37.8%||1-0||44.3%||2-53||(23.3)||24-2||(10.2)||6-52|
|Stats For (Road Games)||0.8||0.7||1.5||-0.3||13-5||38.0%||1-0||50.0%||3-62||(23.3)||2-26||(13.1)||4-46|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.1||0.8||1.8|| ||15-7||43.8%||1-0||23.1%||2-42||(20.4)||2-14||(7.7)||7-61|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1.2||0.6||1.8|| ||14-5||38.5%||1-0||45.4%||2-56||(23.5)||20-2||(9)||6-56|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||0.7||0.5||1.2|| ||14-7||47.1%||1-0||25.0%||1-36||(24.2)||1-12||(9.1)||7-51|
|Last 3 Games||2-1||+1.3||3-0||1-2||24.3||10.7||381.7||(5.9)||1.0||17.0||4.3||294.7||(5)||1.7|
|Offense (All Games)||22.0||11.2||18.0||29:11||22-96||(4.3)||23-37||62.0%||229||(6.2)||60-325||(5.4)||(14.8)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||22.4||11.4||19.3||30:53||27-110||(4.1)||22-35||60.9%||232||(6.6)||62-342||(5.5)||(15.3)|
|Offense Home Games||21.5||12.2||15.7||27:11||19-91||(4.7)||22-36||61.8%||224||(6.2)||56-315||(5.7)||(14.7)|
|Defense (All Games)||21.2||9.6||19.8||31:27||28-119||(4.2)||21-36||58.7%||230||(6.3)||65-349||(5.4)||(16.4)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||22.5||11.3||20||31:43||27-106||(3.9)||22-36||61.3%||239||(6.6)||63-344||(5.4)||(15.3)|
|Defense Home Games||21.3||9.2||21.5||34:12||32-137||(4.3)||23-38||59.9%||234||(6.2)||69-371||(5.3)||(17.4)|
|Stats For (All Games)||1.1||0.5||1.5||0.2||14-5||35.8%||1-0||25.0%||2-57||(23.9)||2-18||(8.5)||4-39|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0.9||0.5||1.4||2||14-5||38.5%||1-0||45.0%||2-55||(22.7)||21-2||(9.8)||6-55|
|Stats For (Home Games)||0.8||0.5||1.3||0.5||13-4||27.2%||0-0||50.0%||2-57||(24.4)||2-15||(7.7)||3-34|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.2||0.5||1.7|| ||14-5||36.9%||1-1||53.8%||3-61||(23.3)||3-31||(10.8)||7-52|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1.1||0.6||1.6|| ||14-5||39.0%||1-0||46.4%||2-53||(23.3)||21-2||(9.8)||6-53|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||1.3||0.5||1.8|| ||16-7||42.6%||0-0||100.0%||2-47||(23.5)||3-34||(10.7)||7-62|
|Average power rating of opponents played: NEW ENGLAND 19.2, MIAMI 20.4|
|10/20/2013||@ NY JETS||27-30||L||-3||L||43||O||20-90||22-46-205||1||52-177||17-33-206||1|
|12/15/2013||@ MIAMI|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/22/2013||@ BALTIMORE|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/29/2013||BUFFALO|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/27/2013||@ NEW ENGLAND||17-27||L||6||L||46||U||31-156||22-42-145||3||37-152||13-22-100||1|
|11/11/2013||@ TAMPA BAY||19-22||L||-2.5||L||39||O||14-2||27-42-211||1||37-140||11-21-124||1|
|12/1/2013||@ NY JETS||23-3||W||-1.5||W||39.5||U||36-125||28-43-328||1||22-99||13-28-78||3|
|12/15/2013||NEW ENGLAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/22/2013||@ BUFFALO|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/29/2013||NY JETS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|NEW ENGLAND: New England is consistently middle-of-the-pack in run/pass ratio, and that should hold this year. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' running game is a power scheme heavy on man blocking, and No. 1 back Stevan Ridley is a nice fit. However, Ridley's fumble-itis is an issue. Shane Vereen will get a lot of reps and is a better weapon in the passing game. The additions of Donald Jones and Michael Jenkins and re-signing of Julian Edelman, three solid blocking receivers, suggest they might test the perimeter more often. They also find work for a third back, either LeGarrette Blount or Brandon Bolden.
The Patriots' passing game has become more and more spread. The tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, remain the focal points of the passing game when they're on the field, but both were doubtful for Week 1 when we went to press. Hernandez (legal trouble) is a moveable chess piece while Gronkowski (forearm injury) plays in-line and is often called upon to protect. Danny Amendola steps into the Wes Welker role and figures to lead the team in targets as long as he remains healthy. He'll likely slide outside when they play three wide. Rookie Aaron Dobson has a chance to see a lot of snaps on the outside. The Pats had more goal-to-go snaps than any NFL team last year, and skewed run-heavy with them.
The Patriots finished T-9th in scoring defense in 2012, and led the NFL with 32 forced and 21 recovered fumbles, thanks to a stellar corps of linebackers anchored by LBs Jerod Mayo and Dont'a Hightower. A healthy DE Chandler Jones has Pro Bowl potential, and DT Vince Wilfork is still a monster. The secondary hasn't been good for a long time, but the addition of S Adrian Wilson and the healthy return of CB Aqib Talib will certainly help.|
|MIAMI: More than last season, this year's Miami offense figures to more closely resemble the one head coach Joe Philbin was a part of in Green Bay. Expect a lot more running out of spread looks, as the Dolphins have the personnel to line up three- and four-wide and let speedy slasher Lamar Miller stick his foot in the ground and get upfield. Miller is set to get a true No. 1 workload behind a zone-blocking line. Daniel Thomas is the No. 2 but spends a lot of time in the doghouse.
The Dolphins are largely a West Coast offense, but they'll be able to stretch the field more this season. Both Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline are capable of big plays downfield, and Wallace will be used often as a catch-and-run threat as well. TE Dustin Keller will play a lot of reps and should be their primary target in the middle of the field. Brandon Gibson figures to return to strictly slot duties, as his skill set is similar to that of the departed Davone Bess. The Dolphins use their backs as receivers often, and both Miller and Thomas are capable receivers. The Dolphins figure to remain relatively run-heavy in the red zone, especially after losing top red zone target Anthony Fasano.
The Dolphins finished seventh in scoring defense despite not forcing a turnover in seven of their final nine games. They moved up to draft DE Dion Jordan to line up opposite star DE Cameron Wake (15 sacks), and are banking on both CBs Brent Grimes (Achilles) and Richard Marshall (back) to be injury-free. Miami released ILBs Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett, and spent big on MLB Dannell Ellerbe (92 tackles, 69 solos with Ravens), giving him to a 5-year, $35M deal, and then grabbed SLB Philip Wheeler (109 tackles, 78 solos with Raiders) and inked him to $26M over five years.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (NEW ENGLAND-MIAMI) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Patriots-Dolphins Preview* ===========================
By JEFF BARTL STATS Writer
It's not that the New England Patriots are trying to sugarcoat the loss of Rob Gronkowski, but they feel fortunate to have succeeded in this situation before.
With a chance to clinch the AFC East on Sunday against the host Miami Dolphins, they are doing their best to take it in stride.
Gronkowski suffered a serious knee injury in last week's 27-26 comeback win over Cleveland and will be out for the rest of the season, playing in just seven games after missing the first six due to back and forearm issues.
New England (10-3) went 5-1 in the star tight end's absence.
"I'd like to think there's going to be some carry-over there, not only (from) the first six weeks of the season, but the entire training camp as well," coach Bill Belichick said. "That's the way we practiced and played most of the year."
Tom Brady surely will miss one of his favorite targets, but he isn't going to sulk over Gronkowski's latest injury.
"I mean, it's disappointing to lose anybody, but we've faced that before this year and at different times, so I'd say at least we're adjusted to it a little bit," Brady said. "We still have confidence that we can go out and win games."
A win or tie Sunday would give the Patriots their fifth straight division title and 10th in 11 seasons, and they'd clinch a playoff berth regardless of the result if Baltimore doesn't win in Detroit on Monday night.
Victories haven't come easy lately, though.
New England's three-game winning streak hasn't been for the faint of heart. It overcame a 24-point deficit to beat Denver 34-31 in overtime Nov. 24, then rallied from 10 down at halftime before Stephen Gostkowski kicked a pair of 53-yard field goals in the final 7:16 for a 34-31 win over Houston on Dec. 1.
The Patriots scored 13 points and recovered an onside kick in the final 61 seconds last week.
"Sometimes the stars align in your favor," special teams captain Matthew Slater said. "We've been real blessed this year to have the ball bounce our way and we're just going to go with it. We're not going to question the why of it."
New England had to rally from a 17-3 halftime deficit against the Dolphins in the first meeting Oct. 27, scoring 24 unanswered points to earn its seventh straight victory in the series.
Brady finished 13 of 22 for 116 yards - his fewest when playing a full game since throwing for 78 against the Dolphins on Dec. 10, 2006 - and he's expecting Miami to present another tough challenge.
"They've got a really good scheme. There are really no easy plays out there, so we've got to go out there and earn it," Brady said. "Hopefully we can follow it up so we're most prepared, and then go down and try to win a really important game."
This contest may be more important for the Dolphins (7-6), who are tied with Baltimore for the AFC's final playoff spot. They've won back-to-back games after last week's wild 34-28 victory in snowy Pittsburgh.
After this game, Miami visits Buffalo next week before closing its schedule at home against the New York Jets on Dec. 29.
"All the games are going to be tough," cornerback Brent Grimes said. "We just need to win. I don't know how you're looking at it, but we need to win. We need to take care of our business."
The Dolphins have been to the playoffs once in the last 11 seasons, but coach Joe Philbin is refusing to look ahead as well.
"All that matters is that with an excellent team coming to town, that's a full plate," Philbin said. "We're going to have to play extremely well. That's what we have to keep focused on."
Miami set a season high for points scored despite the tough conditions last week, and it will go up against a Patriots defense that ranks 24th in total defense at 372.3 yards per game. New England has just four sacks in the last three games, but the Dolphins' Ryan Tannehill has been sacked a league-high 48 times.
Tannehill threw a career high-tying three touchdown passes last week - two going to Charles Clay, who finished with seven catches for 97 yards.
Clay has emerged as one of Tannehill's top targets, and his 678 yards are 114 short of breaking Randy McMichael's single-season franchise record for a tight end set in 2004.
"He's a heck of an athlete that makes small plays and big plays," Tannehill said.
Clay had five catches for 37 yards in the last meeting for Miami, which hasn't beaten New England since a 22-21 home win Dec. 6, 2009.
|Last Updated: 10/22/2014 6:36:19 AM EST|