Patriots vs Dolphins Preview: Gronk Is Like a 'Grown Man Playing With a Bunch of Kids,' Miami Head Coach Says
Posted by: Gronkowski
The Patriots headed south to warmer climes once again this week to face the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.
While the Pats are eight point favorites and standing comfortably atop of the AFC East at 9-3 as the Fins flounder at 6-6, New England has a notoriously poor record while playing in Florida (lest we remind you that their first loss of this season came during a hot and humid debacle in Jacksonville).
They are 8-8 in Miami since 2002 and have lost four of their last five games there, including a Monday nighter going up against Jay Cutler at quarterback last year. Jay-frigging-Cutler??? If you need yet more stats to rile you up, Brady is 7-9 in Miami and has thrown 15 receptions down there ... on the flip side, he’s 15-1 against the Fins in Foxboro.
But remember, Gronk was out for that 2017 game following a scuffle against the Buffalo Bills and he’s boasted five touchdowns the past six times he’s played the Dolphins. Both he and Brady were off the injury report this week and the Pats’ active 53-man roster had a perfect attendance for practice on Thursday.
Despite their poor record in South Florida, the Dolphins are still very, very afraid of the Pats – especially Gronk.
“He shows up every Sunday, he competes extremely hard. He’s a good run-block. He’s a good pass-protector,” their head coach Adam Gase said, according to the Providence Journal.“He does a great job any time the ball is thrown to him. He’s just a hard guy for any defense to defend because it’s like a grown man playing with a bunch of kids. He’s such a big target.
“He’s one of those guys, when you go to face him, you just try to do everything you can to contain him. You know he’s going to get his catches. When he gets in the red zone, you’ve just got to try to keep him out of there.”
Of course, any trip to Miami means a reunion with Edelman’s top bro, Danny Amendola, and our former fave wide receiver was in limited practice with a knee injury.
The Pats can still take the top spot in the whole AFC if they win out (with the Steelers, Jets and Bills still to come), while the Dolphins only have a 7.5 percent chance to make the playoffs according to SportsLine.
We all know that the lower the mercury, the better the Patriots play – and vice versa. The current weather forecast for Miami on Sunday afternoon is 83 degrees, with scattered thunderstorms and 75 percent humidity, but that’s “not hot enough,” Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill joked on Wednesday.
Former Patriots linebacker and ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi said that the extreme difference in temperature definitely has a huge impact on the Pats’ performance. "It’s probably a 50-degree shift from New England to Miami. That makes a big difference.”
It's also a fact which Brady confirmed this week. “It’s been a challenging environment," TB12 said during his regular Westwood Radio interview. "I think the climate plays some role and they always seem to play well when they play us down there. We are not going to get beat by the weather; we’re going to get beat by the Dolphins.
“That is what we realize. We’re going up against a good opponent that plays us very well at home. We play them very well at home. It is just one of those series where it is kind of like that."
Safety Devin McCourty had a far less scientific reason for their poor record down in the Sunshine State: "We've just sucked."
Before you go...