In The Red Zone

This Week

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots

The New England Patriots host their AFC East Rival Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on Sunday at 4:15 p.m.

The Patriots (11-3) are 5-1 at The Razor, 3-1 against the AFC East and 8-2 in the conference.  The Dolphins (5-9) are 2-5 on the road, 2-2 vs. the AFC East and 4-6 against the conference.

The Line/Prediction

As of Thursday the line on the game from Yahoo! Sports have the Patriots at MINUS 10.  The over under is 48.

My Prediction is Patriots 35, Dolphins, 27.  Take the points (Dolphins) and take the over.  I am 8-5-1 against the spread and 10 of 14 on calling the over/under in 2011.


The Patriots are reporting the game as a sell out. It is the 190th consecutive sell out  dating back to the 1994 season opener.  The record includes preseason, regular season and playoff games.

Tickets to the game, if available, can be purchased through Ticketmaster.  You can check the availability here.

After market tickets are available through the Official Patriots Ticket Exchange where season ticket holders can sell their unused seats to fans on the season ticket waiting list.

Getting to the Game

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

Here is the up to date weather forecast from the Weather Channel for Foxboro MA.

Click for all the game day information including stadium directions, parking information and map and a Gillette Stadium seating chart.


Here’s a bunch of different tailgating recipes from  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 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 theme.

Whether it’s at the game, a bar or a friend’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 in televising the game regionally and Ian Eagle will do play by play while Dan Fouts will provide the game analysis.  You can look here for your local affiliate.

See if you’re getting the game courtesy of J.P. Kirby at

The DirecTV designation is Channel 705.

Here are all the rules on NFL TV broadcasts including explaining the blackout rules, flex scheduling and commercial breaks.


The Patriots Radio Network broadcasts the game from flagship station WBZ-FM, 98.5 the Sports Hub in Boston. Gil Santos handles the play-by-play, former Patriot Gino Cappelletti does the color and new this year Scott Zolak will man the sidelines. It all starts with Gary Tanguay, Andy Gresh and Zolak with the pregame show at 10 a.m. along the network. The post game starts after the final gun and continues for three hours along the network.

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

All NFL Games are also available on Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio also carries all the NFL games under a special additional package.  They usually only carry the home team feed.

The Patriots radio network call is available on Sirius Channel 92, XM Channel 225 and on SiriusXM Internet Channel 879.

The Dolphins Radio Network has former Dolphins WR Jimmy Cefalo calling play-by-play and former Dolphins Joe Rose and Bob Griese providing the color with Kim Bokamper and Keith Sims on the sidelines via their flagship station WINZ. Their call is available on Sirius Channel 121 and SiriusXM Internet Channel 877.

Patriots All Access

Patriots All-Access features behind the scenes looks, interviews and breakdowns with head coach Bill Belichick and in depth features on the team.  It’s hosted by Steve Burton of WBZ-TV (Boston) and airs weekly in most New England television markets.

  • Boston MA on TV 38 Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
  • Providence RI on WNAC Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
  • Manchester NH on WMUR Saturday at midnight
  • Portland ME on WMTW Sunday at 5 a.m.
  • Hartford CT on WCTX Saturday at 5 p.m.
  • Springfield MA on WFXQ Saturday at 7 p.m.
  • Bangor ME on WVII Sunday at 11 a.m.

You can also watch it anytime on the teams website in the media section.

To continue reading the Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots week 16 preview, click on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.

Last Week

The Patriots beat the Broncos on the road 41-23; while the Dolphins beat the Bills on the road, 30-23.


  • This is the 93rd meeting between the Patriots and the Dolphins since they started to face each other as AFL foes in 1966 when Miami became a franchise.
  • The Dolphins lead the all-time series 50-42. This includes 3 meetings in the playoffs (1982, 1985, 1997) with the Patriots holding a 2-1 post season edge.
  • This is the 16th prime time meeting between the teams.  Of the previous 15 meetings, 10 were on Monday night; 3 were on Sunday night and 2 were on Thursday night.
  • The Patriots won in Week 1 in Miami, 38-24 when Tom Brady threw for 517 yards a team record and 5th highest total in NFL history.

Patriots Team Notes

Here is the Patriots roster, depth chart and injury report for the game.

2011 Patriots Schedule/Results

The Patriots overall franchise record is 412-366-9.  They have won three Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX) in six appearances.  They last appeared in the playoffs in 2010 when they lost at home to the New York Jets in the AFC Divisional Playoff, 28-21.  They last appeared in a Super Bowl in 2007 losing to the New York Giants 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII.  They won the AFC Conference championship that season with playoff wins over Jacksonville and San Diego.

The Patriots are the 2011 AFC East Champions, having won the division for the 3rd consecutive season.  They have now won the division 9 times since 2000.

New England has won the AFC East 13 times second most only to Miami’s 14 times.

This is their 19th playoff trip in the 52-year history of the team and 13th since the Kraft family took ownership of the club in 1994.

The Patriots are guaranteed to host their 14th home playoff game under Kraft’s stewardship.  In the previous 34 years of the team they hosted one playoff game in 1978 vs. Houston Oilers.

The Patriots are dedicating the 2011 season to the memory of Myra Hiatt Kraft, the late wife of owner Robert Kraft. Every Patriots player and coach will honor Myra’s memory by wearing a patch with her initials on it in recognition of her lifelong contributions to the local and global community and her influence on the charitable mission of the entire Patriots organization. The patch will be worn on the left chest of every player throughout the season.

New England is 51-15 against their AFC East Rivals since 2001. 

The Patriots have won 13 of the last 18 games between the teams.

New England is 28-17 as the home team in the series including playoffs.

The Patriots are looking for a series sweep of Miami for the 2nd consecutive season.

New England has won 6 consecutive games after a 2 game losing streak.  It is their longest win streak of the season.

Since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002, New England is 72-15 at home including the playoffs and is 19-1 in December home games.  Both are the best in the NFL in that time period.

Since 2001 The Patriots are 40-5 in December games, home or away, and have had 6 undefeated Decembers.  They are 3-0 this month.

The Patriots defense has allowed opponents to convert 44.5% of the time on 3rd down, while the offense has a 3rd down conversion rate of 45.5%.

The New England defense has sacked the opponents quarterback 33 times in 14 games.

The Patriots are 3rd in the NFL in points per game with 31.2.  While they allow 21.2 points per game good for a tie for 14th in the NFL.

New England is PLUS 12 in turnover differential, 5th best in the NFL. The offense has given up 11 INT and 5 fumbles, while the defense has 18 INT and 10 fumble recoveries.

Their opponents are outscoring the Patriots in the 4th quarter 115-111.

This is the 9th straight season the Patriots have had 10 wins or more and 10th time in the last 11 years.

Patriots Staff Notes

This is the link to head coach Bill Belichick’s Wednesday press conference on the Dolphins.

Bill Belichick coached teams are 14-11 vs. Miami. Belichick is 14-9 as Patriots head coach and he was 0-2 as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

Overall in his NFL career Belichick is 173-97 in 16 NFL seasons.  He is 135-53 with New England and 36-44 with Cleveland.  He is 15-6 in the playoffs, 14-5 as head coach of the Patriots in the post season.  When you combine his regular season and post season records he is 188-103.

Belichick’s 188 wins are good for 9th all-time.  Chuck Knox, who coached the Rams, Redskins and Seahawks, is 8th all-time with 193.

He is the first coach in NFL history to have his teams win 10 games or more in 9 consecutive seasons.

He was named NFL Coach of the Year for the 3rd time in 2010.

Belichick is one of five head coaches in NFL history whose father (Steve Belichick) played in the league.  The others are current Kansas City head coach Todd Haley (Dick Haley), former San Francisco head coach Mike Nolan (Dick Nolan), former Cincinnati head coach David Shula (Don Shula) and former NY Jets head coach Joe Walton (Frank Walton).

New England has only failed to make the playoffs three times under Belichick in 2000, 2002 and 2008.

Patriots Possible Starters


LT: Light

LG: Mankins

C: Wendell

RG: Waters

RT: Solder

TE: R. Gronkowski

TE: Hernandez

WR: Branch

WR: Welker

QB: Brady

RB: Green-Ellis


DE: Deaderick

DT: Wilfork

DT: Love

DE: Anderson

LB: Ninkovich

LB: Mayo

LB: Koutouvides

LCB: McCourty

RCB: Arrington

S: Slater

S: Ihedigbo

Patriots Players Notes

This Tom Brady’s 12th NFL season he is 13-6 vs. the Dolphins.

Overall Brady is 122-34 as a starting QB and is 14-5 in the playoffs for an overall record of 136-39.  Brady is a 6 time Pro Bowl QB; two time NFL MVP and has won 3 Super Bowls while twice being named the games MVP.  He is also listed as the 21st Greatest Player in the History of the NFL according to the NFL Network.

In 2010 Brady won his second NFL MVP and he was the first unanimous winner in league history.

Brady has thrown 35 TD’s and 11 INT’s while being sacked 24 times in 13 games.

Brady has 296 TD passes in his career he is now 6th all-time.  Hall of Fame QB John Elway is 5th with 300.

Brady has 122 career wins he is 6th all-time.  Fran Tarkenton is 5th with 124.

WR Wes Welker now has catches in 96 consecutive games including playoffs, 79 as a Patriot.  The last time Welker did not have a catch in a game was 12/24/05 as a Dolphin.

Welker needs 114 receiving yards to break Randy Moss’ team record of 1,493 set in 2007.

Welker has 104 catches on the season becoming just the third player (Marvin Harrison and Jerry Rice) in NFL history with four 100 plus catch seasons.

TE Rob Gronkowski has 15 TD catches in 2011 a new single season record for tight ends.  He broke the NFL record for TD’s by a tight end in a season held by Vernon Davis (San Francisco – 2009) and Antonio Gates (San Diego –2004).

Gronkowski has 25 TD catches in last two seasons the most in the NFL in that time span.

He needs just 34 yards receiving to break the team record of 1,174 set by Ben Coates in 1994.

Gronk needs just 150 yards receiving to set a NFL record for single season yards by a tight end that is held by the great Kellen Winslow Sr. with 1,290 yards in 1980.

DE Andre Carter leads the team with 10 sacks.  DE Mark Anderson has 9 on the season good for 2nd on the team.

Carter leads the defense with 22 quarterback hits, Anderson is 2nd with 11 hits.

Carter and Anderson lead the team with two forced fumbles each.

LB Rob Ninkovich leads the team with 2 recovered fumbles.

Arrington leads the team and is in a 3-way tie for the NFL lead with 7 INT’s.

LB Jerod Mayo leads the team in tackles with 83, CB Devin McCourty is 2nd with 78.

WR Matthew Slater leads the special teams in tackles with 17 and LB Tracy White is 2nd with 14.

With Carter going to the IR and DE Eric Moore getting released the Patriots have signed CB Vincent Fuller, a former Detroit Lion, and promoted rookie LB Markell Carter from the practice squad.

On Wednesday the following players were listed on the injury report. RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (illness) and T Sebastian Vollmer (back) did not practice.  The following were limited in their participation: CB Kyle Arrington (foot); QB Tom Brady (non-injury); WR Deion Branch (groin); S Patrick Chung (foot); C Dan Connolly (groin); WR Julian Edelman (back); LB Dane Fletcher (thumb); S James Ihedigbo (shoulder); CB Devin McCourty (shoulder); WR Matthew Slater (shoulder); LB Brandon Spikes (MCL); RB Shane Vereen (hamstring); G Brian Waters (ankle) and WR Wes Welker (knee).

On Thursday Spikes was downgraded to did not practice, while Green-Ellis was upgraded to limited and new CB Vincent Fuller (forearm) was added to the list as limited.

The Patriots have five New England natives on the roster they are: LB Niko Koutouvides (Plainville CT); TE Aaron Hernandez (Bristol CT); OL Donald Thomas (New Haven CT); S James Ihedigbo (Northampton MA) and DE Ron Brace (Worcester MA).  They have 12 players who played for a New England school or a Big East Conference member.  They are: WR Deion Branch (Louisville); WR/TE Dorin Dickerson (Pitt); S James Ihedigbo (UMass); CB Nathan Jones (Rutgers); C Dan Koppen (Boston College – IR); CB Devin McCourty (Rutgers); NT Vince Wilfork (Miami), OL Donald Thomas (UConn); DE Mike Wright (Cincinnati – IR); DE Ron Brace (Boston College); WR Tiquan Underwood (Rutgers) and DE Alex Silvestro (Rutgers – Practice Squad).

The Patriots have 7 retired numbers: 20 – Gino Cappelletti, 40 – Mike Haynes, 73 – John Hannah, 78 – Bruce Armstrong, 79 – Jim Lee Hunt and 89 – Bob Dee.

Dolphins Team Notes

Here is the Dolphins roster, depth chart and injury report for the game.

2011 Dolphins Schedule/Results


Miami’s all-time record is 399-299-4 they are 20-20 in the post season with their last post season appearance coming in 2008 when they lost to Baltimore in the AFC Wild Card game, 27-9 . They last played for a conference championship in 1992 when they lost to San Diego in the AFC Title game, 29-10. They have won two Super Bowl titles (VII, VIII) in five appearances.  The Dolphins franchise started in 1966 in the AFL.

This will either be Miami’s 400th franchise win or their 300th franchise loss.

The Dolphins are 17-28 as the road team in the series and 2-7 at Gillette Stadium.

Miami is 28-38 vs. the AFC East since 2001.

The Dolphins defense has allowed opponents to convert 32.5% of the time on 3rd down, while the offense has a 3rd down conversion rate of 31.3%.

The Miami defense has sacked the opponents quarterback 35 times in 14 games.

The Dolphins are 21st in the NFL in points per game with 20.4.  While they allow 19.2 points per game good for 5th in the NFL.

Miami is MINUS 5 in turnover differential, tied for 23rd best in the NFL. The offense has given up 10 INT and 11 fumbles, while the defense has 13 INT and 3 fumble recoveries.

Dolphins Staff Notes

Hear what Miami Dolphins interim head coach Todd Bowles had to say to the New England media about the match up.

Bowles won his NFL debut last Sunday in Buffalo, 30-23.

Two weeks ago Miami whacked head coach Tony Sparano who was in his 4th season with the Dolphins.  He was 29-31 in the regular season and 0-1 in the playoffs for an overall record of 29-32.  He was 2-5 vs. New England in his time in Miami.

Former Patriots coach Brian Daboll is the Miami offensive coordinator.

Former Patriots LB Bryan Cox is the Dolphins pass rush coach.

Miami receivers coach Steve Bush attended Southern Connecticut State University.  He also coached at Springfield College, University of New Haven, Boston University and Longmeadow (MA) High School.

Dolphins offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo is a Lexington, MA native and attended Boston University.  He was also a coach at UConn in 1997 and 1998.

Miami special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi attended URI.

Dolphins assistant strength and conditioning coach Dave Puloka grew up in Arlington MA and attended the College of the Holy Cross.

Dolphins Players Notes

Dolphins QB Chad Henne, who faced New England in week 1, had season ending surgery to his non throwing shoulder (left) in early October.

QB Matt Moore has replaced Henne and he is 12-12 in his 5th season in the NFL.  He is 5-6 with Miami and 7-6 with Carolina.  Dallas signed Moore, who attended Oregon State, as an undrafted free agent in 2007 but he was cut prior to the season starting.

Moore is 0-1 vs. New England in his career with his lone start coming as a member of the Carolina Panthers.

Former New England TE Will Yeatman and TE Jeron Mastrud are now with Miami.

On Wednesday the Dolphins listed TE Anthony Fasano (head) and WR Brandon Marshall (knee) as did not participate.  T Jake Long (back) was limited and CB Will Allen (wrist) had full participation.

On Thursday, Marshall was upgraded to limited.

Miami team captains for 2011 are T Jake Long, QB Chad Henne, LB Karlos Dansby, S and S Yeremiah Bell.

There are 3 players on the Dolphins roster from Big East universities and New England based colleges.  They are CB Will Allen (Syracuse); T Marc Colombo (Boston College); RB Steve Slaton (West Virginia).

The Dolphins have three retired numbers: 12 – Bob Griese, 13 – Dan Marino and 39 – Larry Csonka.

Next Week

The Patriots host their AFC East rival Buffalo Bills next Sunday New Years Day at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro MA.  Kick off is at 1 p.m. on CBS.

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