By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Any question about the Patriots’ unusual level of trouble in Miami is a fair one. Just don’t expect Bill Belichick to give a detailed answer about it or make any excuses.
Tom Brady is 7-9 in his career playing in Miami, and the last time he played out there was a horror show. His 59.5 passer rating in Week 14 last season, a 27-20 loss to the Dolphins on Monday Night Football, was his worst in a single game since his 53.5 mark in Week 7 of 2013 against the Jets. That was also a road loss, by the way.
So what’s the deal with Miami, anyway? The weather is a logical place to point. Conditioning may not necessarily be a problem for the Patriots, but the unique climate of Miami is something they need to be prepared for. That can be hard to accomplish when they’re practicing in the 30’s and 40’s in chilly Foxboro.
Belichick was asked about that challenge, and as you may expect, he wasn’t going to give an inch. Here’s the full exchange:
Q: Is there any way for you to simulate the humidity that they’re going to feel down there when they get there?
A: I don’t know. Look, it is what it is out there. So whatever it is, it is.
That’s a little different from how Brady answered a similar question from Westwood One’s Jim Gray. Brady is still quick to give the Dolphins credit and mostly avoided weather excuses. But he did acknowledge that the heat is at least something to be cognizant of going into the game.
“It’s been a challenging environment,” said Brady. “The climate obviously plays some role, and they always seem to play well when they play us down there. We’re not going to get beat by the weather, we’re going to get beat by the Dolphins. That’s what we realize. We’re going up against a good opponent that plays us very well at home, and we play them very well at home. It’s just one of those series where it’s kind of like that. We’ve got to get our mind right. We’ve got to have a great week of preparation and go down there and try to play a great game against a [6-6] team that’s really hung in there.”
Center David Andrews echoed a similar sentiment when he spoke to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand on Wednesday.
“I wouldn’t say that’s the issues that we’ve had down there,” said Andrews. “Last year we played on Monday night so it was a cooler night, and still had some of the same issues. So I don’t think that’s really that big of a factor.”
The weather forecast for Sunday in Miami is calling for a high of 80 degrees, but also for scattered thunderstorms, which could complicate things for both teams. As Belichick put it, the weather is what it is. That’s something they can’t control (unless you ask certain people). The more important thing is to simply execute better on the field regardless of what’s going on around them, because it certainly hasn’t happened often enough down in Miami.
Miami is 5-1 at home, but with just a plus-8 point differential. So the games have been close down there, but the Dolphins have pulled most of them out. Expect a similar struggle between them and the Patriots on Sunday, no matter what’s going on in the air.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.