Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Fish fear comeback king

Dolphins know too well Patriots QB Brady can engineer fourth-quarter miracles

  • Print

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The game hasn't even started, and the Miami Dolphins are already braced for a comeback by the New England Patriots.

AFC East leader New England has achieved come-from-behind victories in its past three games, and will try to extend the winning streak -- with a rally if necessary -- today at Miami.

The Patriots (10-3) find themselves one win from clinching their fifth consecutive division title even though they've trailed at halftime in each of the past three games. The latest victory was especially improbable, with Tom Brady throwing for two scores in the final 61 seconds to beat Cleveland 27-26.

The Dolphins know firsthand how precarious a lead over New England can be. They were up 17-3 at halftime in Foxborough seven weeks ago, but lost 27-17.

'I don't feel like there's a third-quarter Tom Brady and a fourth-quarter Tom Brady. I try to always do the same thing'

-- Pats quarterback Tom Brady

So they'll be mindful of the Patriots' comeback knack today.

"At no point will we feel like the game is wrapped up until there is no more time on the clock," tackle Tyson Clabo said. "Obviously you have to play a complete game. That's what I anticipate us doing."

Here are three things to consider regarding the 97th meeting between the division rivals:

DEALING WITH DEFICITS: The Dolphins (7-6) are coming off a comeback themselves. They rallied three times in last week's 34-28 win at Pittsburgh and took the lead to stay in the fourth quarter.

The victory kept Miami tied for the sixth-best record in the race for the AFC's six playoff berths.

"The reason why we won was we made some plays in the fourth quarter," coach Joe Philbin said. "We are going to have to do that again."

The Patriots keep pulling out wild wins because Brady has been at his best when behind. Over the past three games he has a passer rating of 127.5 in the second half, and he has thrown for more than 200 yards after halftime in all three victories.

"I don't feel like there's a third-quarter Tom Brady and a fourth-quarter Tom Brady," Brady said. "I try to always do the same thing. But it's pretty cool that we've been able to come back in all these games and win. That has been a lot of fun. You've got guys that can make clutch plays at clutch times, and that gives everyone a good feeling if you're in that situation."

LOPSIDED SERIES: Miami has beaten New England 50 times, just not lately. The past seven meetings went to the Patriots, who will try to sweep the season series for the fourth year in a row.

Only eight current Miami players have beaten the Patriots while wearing a Dolphins uniform.

"Eight?" said defensive end Cameron Wake, who is among the eight. "I didn't know that. I'm sure the Patriots don't know that either. That's not something we focus on. I'd never beaten the Steelers, but we beat them last weekend, so it's kind of silly."

TALE OF TIGHT ENDS: The injury-plagued Patriots will be without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who suffered a season-ending right knee injury against Cleveland, costing Brady one of his favourite targets.

Other Patriots who have gone on injured reserve include defensive tackles Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly, linebacker Jerod Mayo and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer.

"It stinks to lose really good players, especially guys of the quality that we've lost this year," Brady said. "You can let it affect you and your performance and your preparation, or you can deal with it and try to go out there and win a game."

While the Dolphins won't have to worry about Gronkowski, the Patriots will be well aware of Miami tight end Charles Clay, who has emerged as a threat in recent weeks while assuming multiple roles. Clay caught two touchdown passes at Pittsburgh.

"He can be in the backfield, attached to the line of scrimmage, off the line of scrimmage or even spread out, which makes it very difficult to defend him," Patriots defensive co-ordinator Matt Patricia said.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 15, 2013 B11

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Bowman questioned on financial solutions for city

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Aerial view of Portage and Main, The Esplanade Riel, Provencher Bridge over the Red River, The Canadian Museum for Human Rights and The Forks near the Assiniboine River, October 21st, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS) CMHR
  • The sun peers through the fog to illuminate a tree covered in hoar frost near Headingley, Manitoba Thursday- Standup photo- February 02, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Which Jets prospect has the best chance of making NHL team this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google