Patriots Cheat Sheet – Week 13 @ Miami

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The “That Was Closer Than It Should Have Been'” Edition

People like football, and given that it’s hard to really get into basketball this early in the season and the Bruins aren’t anywhere to be seen, a successful Pats team can really take over. Stuck on the outside of a Monday conversation at work today when it comes to yesterday’s win over the Dolphins? The Cheat Sheet is here for you.

I don’t know what it is about the Dolphins. The Patriots have had a stranglehold on the AFC East for more than a decade, and you usually think of the Bills in the 90s. Miami seems to be thorny, though, especially when the Pats make the trip down there.

The Patriots escaped with a narrow seven point victory, secured in the waning moments with an onside kick recovery to sneak out of Miami with the W. Here’s what else to know:

  • Tom Brady’s Miami Voodoo – I don’t know if it’s the weather, or if he’s just freaked out by playing in the only place in the NFL where he could actually find someone as attractive as his wife, but Brady has a weird thing with Miami. In his career, he’s now 6-5 in Joe Robbie/Landshark/Sun Life, yet he only got off the schneid recently in regard to turning that around. Yesterday was not a gadget offense, big day for Brady – he was plagued by fluke picks, dropped passes – but at least he got out with the win.
  • The Terrifying Two at Tight End – Sometime, maybe just in time for the playoffs, Rob Gronkowski will return to the lineup. With Hernandez playing at full strength, that means that Brady will have an arsenal of mobile, beastly tight ends to complement Welker and Lloyd, not to mention the emergence of Stevan Ridley. Points will not be the issue for this team.
  • Oh But the Secondary – The pass defense for the Pats will cause a mild heart attack or two, and it’s been covered up in recent weeks thanks to opportunistic efforts that has allowed them to put points on the board while off the ball. If the Patriots run into the Broncos and Peyton Manning again, or, heck, even Andrew Luck, I’d be worried come playoff time. The Dolphins only hung around this one to make it interesting because rookie Ryan Tannehill found some holes.

Your New England Patriots get an extra day next week to prepare for a huge AFC showdown in Foxboro with the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football. Until then, the cheat sheet waits.