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The 2017 Dolphins have really struggled in prime time

And the Patriots are prepared to pounce.

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

After earning a wild card slot in 2016, the NFL scheduling thought it would make sense for the Miami Dolphins to have more opportunities to play in prime time for 2017. Let’s just say that the faith in Miami hasn’t been rewarded.

In week 4, the Dolphins “hosted” the New Orleans Saints in London. They lost 20-0.

In week 8, they went on the road to play the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night. Miami lost 40-0.

In week 9, Miami hosted the Oakland Raiders on Sunday night. The Dolphins lost 27-24.

And in week 10, the Dolphins went on the road to play the Carolina Panthers on Monday night. They lost 45-21.

In those four games where they were the only game playing, Miami went 0-4 with an average score of 33.0-11.3. Even if you don’t include the London game, they’re 0-3 with an average score of 37.3-15.0.

Now, Miami is about to host the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football and they have no explanation for why they’ve struggled in the spotlight.

“It’s hard to really put a finger on exactly why,” Gase replied when asked about the Dolphins’ prime time problems. “Usually when you’re playing in those games, you’re playing good teams. They’re not going to just have you play anybody. We’ve played some … playing at Baltimore has never been easy and at Carolina, and then we had Oakland here. It was a game where we’re right in the mix and we didn’t do it well enough there at the end of the game on either side of the ball to help us get a win.

“I’d say two of those games weren’t the kind of performances that we want. The slightest error puts you in a bad place, and really the Baltimore game stands out on its own as we did not play well in any phase. Carolina, we’re right there right at the end of the half and then it just kind of snowballed on us.”

And that “snowball” problem seems to be a common theme with the Dolphins, with the Patriots making an example of Miami in week 12. The Patriots offense scored four touchdowns before the Dolphins offense scored one of their own, and by that point the game way too out of hand for Miami to compete for a win.

The Patriots also don’t have the same struggles in prime time, going 3-1 so far this year, with an average score of 27.5-19.8. Their loss in the opener against the Kansas City Chiefs seems like a lifetime ago, while the Dolphins struggles are fresh in memory.

The Dolphins will give the Patriots a battle in Miami- they always will- but their struggles on the national stage should give most pause before projecting an upset.