FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has a 7-9 career record in Miami, his most road losses against any team — a statistic that he acknowledged Friday while saying he doesn’t think it will have any impact on this year’s game there.
“The reality is that none of that stuff matters — it’s really this team against that team,” he said, noting the Dolphins’ 5-1 record at home this season. “We have a big challenge.”
If the Patriots meet the challenge and beat the Dolphins on Sunday, they will clinch their 10th consecutive AFC East championship. According to Elias research, they would join the Atlanta Braves as the only franchise from the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL to win at least 10 straight division titles. The Braves won three in a row from 1991 to 1993 and then won another 11 straight following the 1994 strike-shortened season.
Over Brady’s 19-year career, the Patriots have varied their practice approach leading into a road game at Miami, between going inside and turning up the heat (such as in 2017) to staying outside in the cold (such as this season). They also have tweaked their travel itinerary in some seasons, going away from their usual Saturday departure.
“We’ve gone down there on Friday, [we’ve tried] Thursday night and practiced on a Friday. It’s really just about playing good when it comes down to it, and there is no magic formula for that,” said Brady, who is 1-4 in his past five games in Miami, completing 59.6 percent of his passes while averaging 251 passing yards per game.
“It’s just going to take us playing a great game of football. There’s a lot on the line for both teams. It’s a tough place to play, obviously, but it’s a good challenge for us, too.”
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The Patriots are set to leave for South Florida on Saturday. They’ve spent the past three days practicing in 30-degree temperatures, with Sunday’s game-time forecast expected to be around 80.
“It’s got to be a mindset. That’s the place that we go [in the AFC East] — Buffalo is here, the Jets are here, and Miami is the one that’s a little bit different for us, always,” Brady said. “I think just playing down there has its challenges. Every team kind of has its challenges going down there.
“I think they use that climate as a benefit to them, just like we use ours as a benefit to us. I know exactly how many layers I need to put on per degree, how many heat packs I need. That’s just the way it is and I’m sure they do the same.
“The opponent is the Dolphins, not the climate. Playing a good football game is definitely what this week is about for us. We can’t expect to go out there and play less than our best and win. We should be playing our best — it’s that time of year.”