December is the Patriots month. Not just because of the increased chance of snow and because they thrive in the cold, but because of their uncanny ability to win. Since 2001 they have a NFL best record of 41-5 in the month of December. Last year they went 4-0 with wins over Indianapolis, Washington, Denver and Miami en-route to their AFC Championship and Super Bowl appearance. Bill Belichick, while with the Pats, is top among all NFL coaches with one team, winning 43 of his 50 December games. This year the Patriots start the month off with an opponent that also has history on its side.
Bill Belichick is at his best in the month of December and this year should be no different. (FILE:USPresswire)
All time, the Miami Dolphins are 50-43 against the Patriots with the majority of their wins coming at home. But that may be where their momentum stops. Since Belichick became the coach, the Pats are 15-9 against the Dolphins and Tom Brady is 14-6 as a starter. While he owns a dominant record of 53-12 over AFC East opponents, he has given up the most wins to the Fins. It seems that these two teams always struggle against each other no matter how dominant the Patriots appear to be.
History also favors Wes Welker on Sunday. Welker is at his best when playing against his former team catching 75 passes for 981 yards and four touchdowns in nine career games. He averages 8.3 catches a game and 109 receiving yards which are his best against any opponent he has played more than once. He has made some big plays and had some big games against his former team. We can’t forget last season during the season-opener when he had a 99 yard touchdown run at Miami and there’s a strong chance this year he’ll burn the Dolphins for another 100-plus yard game.
It can be argued that Welker wouldn’t be the player he is without Brady. We saw what is was like earlier this season when Welker was discounted from the offense and how vital his presence is. The two are a duo watched closely by all teams in the NFL. With that said, Brady may be coming off one of the best stretches of games in his career. In the past five games he’s completed 64% of his passes with 14 touchdowns and zero interceptions. His hot hand carries the team and if history can repeat itself, another big game should be in store on Sunday.
Miami has the seventh worst offense in the league averaging just over 19 points per game while the Patriots are sitting comfortable in the top spot with 37 points per game. This could be another game that is sealed with turnovers. Brady has thrown only three interception this season whereas rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, has thrown 12. Through 11 games the Dolphins have given the ball away 21 times and the Pats, well they’ve taken it away 32. It’s quite the mismatch and we could end up seeing another “butt fumble” or two on Sunday.
They say history repeats itself, and given the Patriots December dominance, their first matchup of this month could very well propel them to their eighth AFC East title in nine years.