FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots have been a dominant road team for over a decade now. But while most teams tend to roll over when Tom Brady and the Patriots come to town, the annual trip to Miami continues to be daunting.
Over the course of the long-standing series, the Dolphins hold a staggering advantage when the Patriots take their talents to South Beach. The Patriots are just 14-33 lifetime when visiting the Dolphins in Miami, and the record doesn’t get much better even with Brady under center.
Brady’s had his way with the opposition in most NFL cities, but Miami has to be his least favorite place to play. In 10 games played in Miami since becoming the starter in 2001, Brady has led the Patriots to just a 5-5 record.
Maybe it’s the warm weather or just facing a tough divisional opponent, but Brady and the Patriots have never been able to dominate the Dolphins away from home.
“It’s always a tough place to play, especially this time of year when we haven’t really played in a warm-weather game in a while,” Brady said on Wednesday. “We’re out on the grass fields in 35 degree weather; I don’t think it’s going to be 35 down there on Sunday. But we’ll just try to be a little bit mentally tough.”
The Patriots’ struggles in Miami, even with Brady, have been a lingering problem for a number of years. But Brady does fondly recall the overtime showdown in 2003 that at least began to turn the tides for New England.
“There was a long streak of games where we had not won, and then we beat them on the pass to Troy [Brown],” Brady said with a slight smirk. “That was a very memorable day. We’ve had quite a few memorable days down there.”
But memorable days don’t always mean good ones when considering the Patriots’ trips to the Sunshine state. Something Brady also acknowledged.
“Each game against this team has always been exciting,” Brady said. “I watched the game from last year [38-24 win], at the beginning of last season, and that was a fun game. Some great memories of that game [but there] are some not-so-great memories too.”
On the whole, Brady’s numbers have been up to par in games played in South Florida, which is highlighted by his 519 yards of passing in last year’s win. But with the good, he’s also had his share of the bad, including his first trip down south that saw him complete just 12 of 24 passes for a ghastly 84 yards in a 30-10 blowout loss.
Normally, such a terrible performance would be something that sticks firmly in Brady’s mind. But, surprisingly, that wasn’t even his worst performance in Miami. Rather, a 12-for-25 disaster which yielded just 78 passing yards in a 21-0 defeat during a 14-2 campaign in 2006 is the horrid performance that resonates most.
So, when Brady was asked about that game on Wednesday, he smiled begrudgingly and reluctantly replied “I [do] remember that. Thanks for recalling that.”
Brady may not enjoy rekindling such horrid memories, but with the way New England’s offense is rolling right now, he shouldn’t be expecting a repeat anytime soon.