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New England Patriots Week 16 Pregame Defining Moment

Patriots' Week 16 Defining Moment
And You Thought Last Week Was the Perfect Storm

Here is this week's New England Patriots' Defining Moment. Vote for your favorite Defining Moment, and if you have a suggestion for next week's Defining Moment, post a diary or drop me a line. (And make sure you go vote, because there are others there predicting a Patriots loss (again) this week.)

The only thing reliably slowing down the New England Patriots has been Mother Nature. After a nor'easter brought freezing temperatures, freezing rain and a 25-mph winds to Foxboro in the middle of December, the early forecast for two days before Christmas is 50 degrees, showers and a 15-mph breeze. Another storm in the path to perfection.

That could be enough to keep a few records from breaking, but will it be enough prevent the Patriots from making history, becoming the first 15-0 team in NFL history?

It certainly will be the defining moment for the Patriots, who continue to chase history; certainly for the Miami Dolphins, who are defending their own franchise's status (1972) as the only undefeated regular-season team ever; possibly for the entire league, which is nearing the end of its first full season under a very hands-on Roger Goodell. It may be an all-time defining moment in pro football.

All that would have made it apocalyptic ended last week when Miami beat Baltimore at home in overtime -- 14-0 vs. 0-14 with so much history on the line may have been too much strain for the universe.

Now the Dolphins will try to do what they did in Week 13 of 1985 when they became the only team to be the Chicago Bears that season. Of course, Miami made the playoffs that season, far from 1-13 David knocking off unbeaten Goliath. The Dolphins were also preparing to reengage the Bears in Super Bowl XX, but a strange thing happened on the way to the bayou: the underdog Patriots beat the Dolphins in Miami. (See how weird this is getting?)

In a season resplendent with bizarre catch phrases (the Bears had the "Super Bowl Shuffle"), New England was able to "Squish the Fish" -- in Miami, a feat nearly impossible for the Patriots, who never won in Miami in those days (and for a long time afterward). The Patriots did not, however, "Bury the Bears."

Miami has had an equally difficult time winning in New England, especially late in the season, as the Patriots had winning in Miami. A lot has changed since Mosi Tatupu drove a nail into the Dolphin coffin in the '85 playoffs.

But we're still talking about that one, and that seems like nothing compared to this.

Oh, and keep an eye on the record book, just in case.