FOXBORO, Mass. — Since the beginning of the 2013 season, the New England Patriots have intercepted eight passes during games against the Miami Dolphins. Safety Duron Harmon is responsible for half of them.
In seven career matchups with Miami, Harmon has racked up four interceptions, including one in the final seconds of the teams’ first meeting this season that sealed a 31-24 win for the Patriots. Those four picks also represent exactly half of the 25-year-old’s career total, as he has just four over the 62 games he’s played against all other teams, including playoff games.
“I don’t know,” Harmon said Thursday when asked why he’s been so disruptive against this particular AFC East rival. “For some reason, God likes me to play good when I’m playing the Dolphins, so I’m hoping it happens again this Sunday.”
The Patriots and Dolphins will square off this weekend in the regular-season finale for both teams, and New England’s defense, which was widely criticized earlier in the season, has been dominant throughout the home stretch. The Pats allowed exactly three points in each of their last two games and 17 or fewer in five of their last six.
“At the beginning of the year — it is what it is,” Harmon said of the negative reviews the defense received. “We can’t really try to live through people and worry about what other people do. A critic’s job is to critique, and we know that, so all we can do is worry about what we’re doing and try to get better at what we can get better at. And obviously, we’ve gotten better.”
New England enters Week 17 ranked first in the NFL in scoring defense, 33 points better than the second-place Seattle Seahawks. The Patriots haven’t led the league in points allowed since 2003 — the season they won the franchise’s second Super Bowl title.
“It’s always nice (to quiet the critics),” Harmon said with a smile. “It’s always nice. But it’s not too much of a factor.”
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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