Game Preview Logo

This Week

Dolphins at Patriots - Week 3

The New England Patriots host the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro MA on Sunday at 1 p .m.

The Patriots are 1-0 at the Razor, 1-0 in the division and 2-0 against the AFC. The Dolphins are 0-1 on the road, 0-1 in the division and 0-1 against the AFC.

Here are the rosters for the Dolphins and the Patriots.

Here are the projected starting lineups for the game.

The Line/Prediction

As of Thursday the line on the game from Yahoo! Sports is Patriots -12.5. The over/under is 35.5.

My prediction is Patriots 24, Dolphins, 10.  Give the points and take the under.  I am 0-2 against the spread and 1-1 on calling the over/under in 2008.


The Patriots are reporting the game as a sell out. It is the 153rd consecutive sellout dating back to the 1994 season opener. The record includes preseason, regular season and playoff games.

Tickets to the game, if available, may be purchased through Ticketmaster. You can check the availability here. Many times tickets are released in the last 48 hours prior to the game.

Getting To The Game

If you’re lucky enough to be going to the game make sure you check out the links.

Here is the up to date weather forecast for the game from The Weather Channel.

Click for stadium directions, parking information, parking map, specific MBTA train times for this game and a Gillette Stadium seating chart.


Here’s a bunch of different tailgating recipes from Tailgaiting America. There’s something there for everyone and every type of meal or snack. I’ve tried some of the recipes and they’re very good and for good measure here is one of my own.

And with tailgating many people enjoy some adult beverages. With that in mind check out Drink Nation for how to make all sorts of great drinks. You can look things up by name, ingredient(s) or by theme.

Whether it’s at the game, a bar or someone’s house moderation is always the key to a great time. Please don’t drink and drive and designate a sober driver. Remember You Drink, You Drive, You Lose.



CBS is televising the game regionally and Ian Eagle will do the play-by-play while Solomon Wilcots will handle the game analysis. You can see if you are getting the game and look for your local CBS Station.

Direct TV NFL Sunday Ticket has the game on Channel 707.

For those of you overseas here is some general information on NFL Broadcasts for the 2008 season.

Patriots All-Access airs tonight at 7 p.m. on WCVB TV 5 in Boston. It will also be simulcast on the team website at the same time.  Make sure you check out the Patriots Football Network for information on when you can see Patriots All-Access in your market.


The Patriots Rock Radio Network broadcasts the game from flagship station WBCN-FM 104.1 in Boston. Gil Santos handles the play-by-play and former Patriot Gino Cappelletti does the color.

It all starts with Gary Tanguay, Scott Zolak and Andy Gresh and the pregame show at 10 a.m. along the network.

The post game starts after the final gun and continues for three hours.

If you are outside of the broadcast area of the stations on the Patriots Rock Radio Network you can purchase NFL Field Pass which allows you to listen to any NFL game live. You can also pick which teams broadcasters you want to listen to.

All NFL games are also available on Sirius Satellite Radio. The Patriots Rock Radio Network call is available on Channel 107, the Dolphins Radio Network has a trio of former Dolphins calling the game including former WR Jimmy Cefalo doing play-by-play and fomer Dolphin TE’s Jim Mandich and Joe Rose with analysis.  Their call is available on Channel 127.

New head Fish, Tony Sparano is a CT nativeChad Pennington is already 0-2 and its getting ugly.  But ya gotta love those shoes.The Mighty Wes Welker led all Patriots receivers against the Jets last week.LaMont Jordan had a good second half against his former team, the Jets.

Last Week

The Patriots visited the Meadowlands and won Matt Cassel’s first NFL start, 19-10 over the Jets to imporve to 2-0.  While the Dolphins got creamed in Arizona, 31-10 by the Cardinals and dropped to 0-2 on the year.


  • The Patriots won both meetings in 2007, they routed the Fish 48-29 in Miami in Week 7 and moved to 15-0 with a 28-7 win over Miami at the Razor in Week 16.
  • The Dolphins are the last team to beat the Patriots in the regular season.  Miami shut out New England 21-0 in Week 14 of the 2006. 
  • This is the 86th meeting all-time between the teams.  Miami leads the series 48-37 including playoffs.
  • The Patriots have won 8 of the last 11 games between the teams. 
  • 13 of the last 31 games in the series have been decided by 7 points or less. Nine were decided by 3 points or less.


  • Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was an assistant coach under Dolphins vice president of football operations Bill Parcells with the Giants, Patriots and Jets.
  • Parcells was the head coach of the Patriots from 1993 to 1996 leading the team to Super Bowl XXXI which they lost to Green Bay.  Parcells left after that game to coach the New York Jets.  He was named Dolphins vice president of football operations in December 2007 after having been retired for one season after a coaching stint with the Dallas Cowboys.
  • Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano is from West Haven CT and was the former head coach of the University of New Haven Chargers. He also coached at Boston University before the football program was shut down by the university. He was named Dolphins head coach on January 16, 2008.
  • Former UConn offensive lineman Donald Thomas was drafted by Miami in the 6th round of the 2008 NFL Draft.  After starting in Week 1 Thomas was placed on IR with a foot injury and will miss the rest of the season.
  • Patriots WR Randy Moss and Dolphins QB Chad Pennington were college teammates at Marshall.
  • Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker was acquired from Miami on March 5, 2007, for draft picks in the second and seventh rounds of the 2007 NFL Draft.
  • Patriots running back Sammy Morris signed with the Dolphins as an unrestricted free agent in 2004.
  • Patriots linebacker and special teams captain Larry Izzo originally signed with the Dolphins as a rookie free agent following the 1996 NFL Draft.
  • Patriots fullback Heath Evans played in the first six games of the 2005 season for the Dolphins and earned two starts. He was signed by the Patriots on Nov. 1, 2005. Evans is a native of West Palm Beach, FL.
  • Patriots guard Billy Yates was originally signed by the Dolphins as a rookie free agent in 2003. He was waived by Miami in September 2004 and signed to the Patriots active roster on Feb. 4, 2005.
  • Patriots wide receiver Jabar Gaffney is from Jacksonville, FL. and attended the University of Florida.
  • Patriots defensive back Brandon Meriweather, a Florida native, is an alumnus of the University of Miami and attended Apopka High School in Apopka, FL. (near Orlando).
  • Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork is from Boynton Beach FL and is also an alumni of the University of Miami.
  • Dolphins first year WR Brandon London attended the Universty of Massachusetts.
  • Dolphins fullback Casey Cramer is a Dartmouth graduate (2004).
  • Dolphins practice squad TE Matthew Mulligan is from Enfield ME and graduated from the University of Maine.  The former Black Bear signed as a rookie free agent.
  • Dolphins Director of College Scouting Chris Grier’s is the son of Bobby Grier, the former Vice President of Player Personnel for New England.
  • Dolphins tight ends coach George DeLeone attended the University of Connecticut. The New Haven native was an assistant at Southern Connecticut State from 1970-79 and Holy Cross College in 1984 .
  • Miami defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni grew up in Cheshire, CT. He was an assistant coach at Southern Connecticut State (1976-81) and at Western Connecticut State (1982-86).
  • Dolphins assistant strength and conditioning coach Dave Puloka played defensive end, while also lettering in track, at Holy Cross College from 1997-2000. He grew up in Arlington, MA.
  • Miami outside linebackers coach Jim Reid attended the University of Maine, where he was a three-year starter as a safety, from 1970-72. He earned his graduate degree at the University of Massachusetts, where he was an assistant coach from 1973-85 and the head coach from 1986-91. He also served as an assistant at Boston College in 1994.
  • Fish offensive coordinator Dan Henning was the head coach at Boston College from 1994-96.
  • Patriots special assistant/secondary coach Dom Capers was a member of the Dolphins’ staff the last two years, including 2007 as defensive coordinator.

Other News

This is the link to head coach Bill Belichick’s Wednesday press conference on the Dolphins. You can also see what Miami head coach Tony Sparano had to say about the game in a conference call with the New England media.

Here is the injury list for the game.

Belichick is 9-9 in his career against the Dolphins. He is 9-7 against them as the head coach in New England.

Matt Cassel made his first NFL start last week against the New York Jets.  He was 16 of 23 for 165 yards 0 TDs and 0 INTs.  He is now 1-0 in his career.

Including playoff games, since December 17, 2006 the Patriots are 25-2, since September 10, 2006 they are 34-6.

The Patriots have won 21 consecutive regular season games in a row. It is the longest regular season win streak in NFL history.

The Patriots overall franchise record is 368-349-9. They have won three Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXIII, XXXIX) in 6 appearances.

The Patriots are 13-2 in their last 15 regular season AFC East home games dating back to 2003.  One of those loses came at the hands of Miami 28-26 in 2005.

New England is 26-16 at home against Miami all-time, including 7-3 in the last 10 games.

On Wednesday the Patriots re-signed TE Tyson DeVree to the practice squad.  He takes the spot that opened when QB Matt Gutierrez was placed on the 53-man roster.  DeVree, 23, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent on May 5, 2008 and was released by the Patriots on June 11 before being re-signed by the Patriots on Aug. 19 and released on Aug. 30. He was signed to the practice squad on Sept. 1 and was released from the practice squad on Sept. 4.

Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi is the only player left from Bill Parcell’s tenure as Patriots head coach.

The Patriots have had just two individual 100-yard rushing performances in the last 12 meetings with the Dolphins. This includes a 156-yard effort (14 atts.) by Laurence Maroney in the second matchup of last year, when the Patriots amassed 196 yards rushing as a team, their most against the Dolphins since the second meeting of 2001.

This is the last time the Patriots play at Gillette Sadium for a month.  Their next home game is Monday October 20 against Denver.

2008 Patriots schedule/results

News from this weeks opponent:

Tony Sparano is the third different head coach for the Dolphins in the last three seasons succeeding Cam Cameron and Nick Saban.  It is his first NFL head coaching job and he comes out of the Bill Parcells coaching tree having been the offensive line coach under him in Dallas.

Sparano is the 8th head coach in Miami history and the 6th since Don Shula left after the 1995 season after 26 seasons on the Dolphins sideline.

Sparano is 0-2 in his NFL coaching career.  This is his first game coaching against New England.  His boss coached 19 seasons and was 172-130-1 and won two Super Bowls with the Giants.  You have to wonder how much patience he will have for a guy who had never been a NFL head coach and hasn’t been a head coach in 10 years (University of New Haven 1994-98).

Sparano had a sleepless night after the team returned from it’s beating in the Arizona desert on Sunday.  Something tells me he will have plenty of those this year.  The Dolphins have started 0-2 for the fourth time in the last five years.

Linebacker Joey Porter has given the Patriots some bulletin board material, not once, but twice since the end of last season with the latest salvo coming this week.  Wanna bet the O-line of New England will take great pleasure in running him over on Sunday.

The Dolphins have 20 players with two years or less of NFL experience on their active roster.  They had 1 pick in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft and they took OT Jake Long (Michigan – 1st overall).  They selected 9 players overall in the seven rounds of the draft including UConn G Donald Thomas in the 6th round.  Thomas went on the IR after Week1 and is done for the year.

Long is the second player the Dolphins have ever selected first overall the other being RB Jim Grabowski in the 1966 AFL Draft in their inaugural season.

Miami has two players each from Alabama, Auburn, BYU, Georgia, Hawaii, Marshall, Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee and Texas.

Newly acquired QB Chad Pennington was the 5th different opening day starting QB in five years, the 28th starting QB in Miami history and the 13th since Dan Marino retired in 1999.

Pennington is 32-31 as a NFL starter.  He is 2-6 in his career against New England.

Miami’s overall franchise record is 369-269-4.  Miami came into the AFL as an expansion team in 1966 and was part of the AFL-NFL merger.  They have won two Super Bowls (VII,VIII) in five appearances.

Miami has a 20-19 playoff record having last made the post season in 2001 when they lost 20-3 to the Baltimore Ravens in the Wild Card game.  They last played for the AFC Championship in 1992 losing to Buffalo.  Their last Super Bowl appearance was in 1984 in Dan Marino’s second season when they lost to the San Francsco 49ers.

Miami only had one Pro Bowl player last year, DE Jason Taylor and he is no longer with the team having been traded to Washington in training camp.

Miami has already been outscored by its opponents by 27 points this season.

Miami has lost 11 consecutive road games.

The Dolphins have permitted the Patriots to post only eight rushing touchdowns over the last 21 matchups of this series.

In seven career outings against the Patriots, all as a member of the Dolphins, RB Ricky Williams has rushed for 629 yards and four touchdowns on 173 attempts. He has accounted for three 100-yard rushing games against New England, including his most recent outing, on January 1, 2006 at Gillette Stadium, when he ran for 108 yards and a TD on 28 carries.

Dolphins’ own the largest margin of victory in the series when they beat the Patriots 52-0 on November 12, 1972 at Orange Bowl.  They also own the longest series win streak which was 9 games from September 17, 1989 to November 21, 1993.

This is the first time the Dolphins have played in Foxboro in September since 1995.  Miami has played it’s annual Foxboro game in December six of the last eight years.

On Tuesday three Miami players hosted several youth groups at a screening for the new movie “The Express”.

The Dolphins are one of the few teams that have a fight song.  This one is a direct rip off of the old Houston Oilers fight song.  I know the Chargers have one that sounds like the theme to a bad disco movie but I can’t think of or don’t know of any others.  If you know of team with a fight song leave a link to it in the comments or tell me who has one and if you know the name. 

After the game Sunday the Dolphins will also be on their bye week.

2008 Dolphins schedule/results

Next Week

The New England Patriots will have a bye in Week 4.  They travel to San Francisco on October 5th to face the 49ers at Bill Walsh Field at Candlestick Park, kickoff is at 4:15 p.m.