No fun in the sun
Miami not a place Brady, Patriot has excelled in
Tom Brady has one simple answer to why his New England Patriots have struggled in Miami.
“They play well and we don’t,” Brady said Friday.
He was smiling, but you know – and he knows – winning in Miami is one thing in a brilliant career Brady hasn’t been able to do consistently. Look at the numbers:
• Brady is 7-9 at Miami, where the Patriots have lost four of the last five years. He is 15-1 against the Dolphins at home.
• Brady has lost seven career games in December, five of them at Miami.
• Brady is 79-19 against the AFC East in the regular season, with 10 of the losses coming at the hands of the Dolphins, a team he has beaten 22 times.
“Regardless, none of that stuff matters,” Brady said. “This week it’s really this team against that team and we’re going to have to play well. They play good at home, they’re 5-1, they’ve got a good defence. We’ve got a big challenge. Should be fun.”
And the Patriots are favoured to win this game, which would give them their 10th straight AFC East title, the 18th in 25 years under owner Robert Kraft. The division is consistently the most lopsided in football – and New England has dominated.
But not in the Florida sunshine. “We’ve tried a bunch of different things over the years,” Brady said of preparation for this annual visit, which has also included practising indoors with the heat cranked up. “We’ve gone down there Thursday night and practised Friday, gone down there Friday night after practice, stayed there Saturday. It’s just really about playing good when it comes down to it; there’s no magic formula.”
This week, the Patriots, who have won eight of their last nine games, have been working in the New England cold after beating the Minnesota Vikings 24-10 on a drizzly day at Gillette Stadium. “When you look at those stats, it is pretty interesting, the way some of those teams from the South come up and play, the teams from the North play in the South – there’s got to be something to it,” Brady said. “It just comes down to playing good football. We’ve had some great games down there, too. Hopefully this is a great game for us. But we have to go earn it.”
He fondly recalled the overtime long pass he threw to Troy Brown to win the 2003 game, ending New England’s five-game losing streak down there, remembering the celebration, and “flipping people off” on the bus leaving.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady warms up before an NFL game against the Minnesota Vikings last week in Foxborough, Mass.