The Miami Dolphins absolutely handled the New England Patriots last night to the tune of a 27-20 beatdown that actually wasn’t even that close; Miami completely controlled this game from start to finish and just imposed their will on a new England offense that looked lost and a New England defense that showed it’s thinness.
But you know what? That’s OK. And here’s why.
Affordable loss. It seems odd to list a divisional game when you’re neck and neck with another team for homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs as an affordable loss, but the Patriots could 100% allow this one. Given the remaining schedule, this game won’t have any impact whatsoever as long as the Patriots take care of business down the stretch.
This was the stinker. The Patriots were due for a game like this, and this happens every single year. I wish I knew why they feel this need to lose one game they have absolutely no business losing every single season almost without fail, but I guess that’s just wired into their DNA. Absolutely nobody showed up yesterday at any level. Brady was inaccurate and out of it. The defense got zero pressure. There was no intensity. The Patriots are a better team than the Dolphins, but the Dolphins wanted this one 1000 times more than New England did, and boy did it show. The Patriots have only swept the AFC East twice during the Bill Belichick era, and history shows that the Pats were due. I’m just glad they played so poorly this week as opposed to next week.
Returning to health. The defense was completely decimated yesterday. Gronk was out, serving his suspension. Chris Hogan was still working the rust off. The Patriots team that took the field against the Dolphins is a very different squad than the one that will be taking the field come January. And January is all that really matters here.
No more primetime games. There’s a late game next week in Pittsburgh, and then there are two 1PM games to close out the season. No more late nights, Monday nighters, or national broadcasts. I hate primetime games for so many reasons, and now I won’t have to worry about watching the Patriots during the regular season late at night until September of 2018. And that’s just fine with me.
SUPER BOWL CHAMPS! That’s right. I’m still riding high from last season’s Super Bowl win and remain aware that every yard the Patriots gain from here on out is just gravy. It’s really, really hard for me to get too worked up over a regular season loss to the Dolphins when Tommy B hoisted his fifth Lombardi Trophy earlier this year. So if you find yourself despondent for some odd reason this afternoon, try to have some perspective. 5 Rings, folks. Enjoy every last second of this ride. Let Miami enjoy this. Fins fans, if you’re here to gloat, gloat away!