October 13, 2003
Up Next: Miami
BY: Ian Logue/PatsFans.com
FOXBORO, MA -- Patriots fans may now find out just how good their team really is.
After their season was thought to be over, the Patriots have defeated the Tennessee Titans and the New York Giants in back-to-back victories, and will now head to Miami for an AFC East showdown with the Dolphins this Sunday.
Miami is coming off of a 24-10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in a mistake-ridden game that could have easily gone the other way. The Dolphins were penalized 11-times for a team record 149-yards on Sunday, and didn't exactly play well on offense. Quarterback Jay Fiedler was just 14-of-27 for 147-yards and no touchdowns, and threw an interception. Two of their three touchdowns came on defense, with a fumble and an interception returned for a score.
Their lone offensive touchdown came from runningback Ricky Williams on their opening drive after the Jaguars fumbled giving the Dolphins the ball at the Jacksonville 41-yard line. Six plays later Williams took the ball in from 14-yards out and gave the Dolphins the early edge.
Williams finished the afternoon carrying 19-times for 75-yards and the score.
However that would be about it for Miami who added a field goal on their next possession, but didn't reach the endzone again until early in the 4th quarter on a strange play. Fiedler connected with runningback Obafemi Ayanbadejo who fumbled the football at the 3-yard line, tight end Randy McMichael then recovered the football and took it in 3-yards for the touchdown.
Miami's final touchdown came on a 4th-and-15 attempt by the Jaguars with 1:28 left in the game when Byron Leftwich was picked off by Sam Madison who ran it back 29-yards for the Dolphins final points of the game.
Meanwhile after his team's 17-6 win over the Giants Patriots head coach Bill Belichick knows his team has a tough challenge waiting for them. They haven't played very well the past few seasons in Miami and that was before they were depleted by injuries to so many of their starters. New England is 0-13 in the months of September and October in Miami, and lost last season's game at Pro Player Stadium 26-13. The last time these two teams met, with five minutes left in the game the Patriots rallied from 11-points down and went on to beat the Miami Dolphins 27-24 in overtime back on December 29th of last year. The win improved the Patriots to 9-7 on the season and gave them the opportunity to move on to the postseason if Green Bay could have beaten the New York Jets at the Meadowlands. Unfortunately the Jets took care of Brett Favre and the Packers 42-17, giving the AFC East title to New York and ending New England's season.
"Right now we have got to get ready for Miami," Belichick told reporters after Sunday's win over the Giants. "We haven't played too well down there in a while and, hopefully, we can be a little more competitive than we have been the last few years in Miami."
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