With Monday night’s match-up at New England fast approaching, it’s the final 2017 chance for the Dolphins to show that their off season talk about catching up to the Patriots is more than just that. Talk.
Keeping in mind that a year ago, the Fins went on a roll and made the playoffs as an AFC Wildcard team. And, the belief was that this year they would contend and be able to hang with New England.
In fact we wrote about this all the way back in April, when WR Jarvis Landry was on a promotional tour for NFL in the U.K. that he told SI.com’s Peter King, that the Patriots “aren’t our big brother anymore.”
Of course, comments like those are abundant in the off season, and let’s be real: what’s Landry supposed to say when the subject of the Patriots dominating them comes up? “Yeah, they beat the crap out of us every year. No one in the East can challenge them. They are better than us every way, every year?” Um, don’t think so.
Granted, the above fictitious quotes are truthful and appropriate, but Landry didn’t say them. He doesn’t have to.
That’s becaue, New England has largely owned the rivalry (and every other rivalry) in the past two decades.
Three straight wins and 12 of the last 16 overall demonstrates what Belichick and Brady have been able to do against Miami.
Still, the Dolphins were talking about it plenty leading up to the season. Here’s another item from July, where Ndamukong Suh, was asked about the Patriots by ESPN and answered about whether New England has an aura of invincibility. “I think they are definitely beatable.”
Again, he was asked an almost “loaded” question and you would expect that type of answer.
And in fairness, the Fins did upset Brady and Co. in the 2015 finale’ at home, which cost New England any chance at home field advantage for the AFC Playoffs. They eventually lost to Denver at Mile High in the Championship game. However, that’s the lone in the last five seasons.
Now we fast forward to how the 2017 season has unfolded and the Dolphins clearly have struggled, including during their recent five game losing streak, and another 35-17 loss at Foxboro Thanksgiving weekend.
And, as expected, all the questions were back this week from local Dolphin media about the Patriots and how good they are.
And, again, the Dolphins are saying what you expect, that they not only can hang in, but believe they can upset the defending champs Monday night.
Yet, “at the end of the day,” the conversation will stop and long about 8:30 p.m. Monday coach Adam Gase’s team gets another chance to prove themselves against the best of the best.
A Pats team with five Super Bowl wins this decade that has always let it’s play do the talking.
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