FOXBORO, Mass. — We’re beginning to sense a pattern in Gillette Stadium this week: The New England Patriots are taking the Miami Dolphins very, very seriously.
Bill Belichick isn’t letting him team get a big head after beating the Arizona Cardinals without quarterback Tom Brady, tight end Rob Gronkowski, running back Dion Lewis and three starting offensive linemen. In fact, they moved on from the game quickly.
“We watched the Arizona game on the flight home and then pretty much got into Miami,” quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said Wednesday. “There wasn’t a lot of sleep, but that’s what it calls for when you do those long trips like that.”
It would be easy to look past the Dolphins after a win over the Cardinals, who are supposed to be Super Bowl contenders.
Not so fast. Bill Belichick is using last season’s Week 17 loss to the Dolphins as a means to motivate his players. And it seems to be working.
Julian Edelman, who had seven catches on seven targets for 66 yards from Garoppolo, was asked multiple questions about his rapport with the backup quarterback. His answers:
“Last week’s last week. We’re on to Miami. I’m not going to answer those kinds of questions.”
“Last week was last week. We’re on to Miami.”
Cameron Fleming gave a similar response when asked about starting and succeeding at left tackle, an unfamiliar position for the third-year pro, against the Cardinals.
“I’ve moved past Arizona, and I’m just focusing on Miami right now,” Fleming said.
Reporters attempted to re-word the question.
“Like I’ve said, we’ve moved past Arizona,” Fleming said. “We’re just focusing on Miami and how we can improve and get ready for that game.”
Edelman’s usually good for a quip about his buddy Brady, but not Thursday. Edelman was asked if he had reached out to Brady during his four-game suspension.
“I’m not here to talk about that,” Edelman said. “I’m here to think about Miami.”
This seems like bad news for the Dolphins. Even when the Patriots win, they have a chip on their shoulder.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images