Arguably Miami’s most crucial football game since the 2008 division-clinching win, week seventeen at the Jets, the Miami Dolphins (3-0) will seek their first 4-0 start since 1995, as well as a three-game lead in the AFC East over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots (1-2).
After opening the 2018 campaign with a 27-20 victory versus Houston, the Patriots looked sluggish in losses at Jacksonville and Detroit. New England will look to avoid their first 1-3 start since 2001.
Gillette Stadium has been a house of horrors for Miami. The Dolphins last victory at Foxborough came over ten years ago: “The Wildcat Game,” September 21, 2008, 38-13. Miami leads the all-time series, 54-51.
DATE: Sunday, September 30
TIME: 1:00 p.m. ET
SITE: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
LINE: NE -6.5, O/U: 48.5
RADIO: Dolphins Radio Network, KISS 99.9 FM, 560 WQAM, 1210 WNMA (Spanish)
Radio Announcers: English broadcast - Jimmy Cefalo, Bob Griese, Joe Rose, Kim Bokamper; Spanish broadcast - Raul Striker Jr., Eduardo Martell.
Five Players to Watch
1. QB Ryan Tannehill - Tannehill improved his career record to 40-40 (.500), with last Sunday’s 28-20 victory versus Oakland. In nine career starts against New England, Tannehill is 3-6. Expect a different outcome Sunday. Tannehill should be able to move the ball frequently down the field against a beat-up Patriots defense that ranks 26th in total defense this season.
2. WR Danny Amendola - Amendola is slated to make his return to Gillette Stadium for the first time Sunday, since he signed with Miami in mid-March to a two-year, $12 million contract. Amendola played five seasons as a member of New England, totaling 2,383 yards and 12 touchdowns. Last season, Amendola caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the back of the endzone versus Jacksonville (AFC Championship Game).
3. QB Tom Brady - At 41 years old, Brady, the former Michigan product, still deserves a ton of credit. Although the Patriots have gotten off to a slow start thus far, Brady is a future Hall-of-Famer, and will go down as one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time. In 31 career games against Miami, Brady is 21-10. Brady has never lost a football game at home versus Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill.
4. CB Xavien Howard - Howard is beginning to prove analysts wrong and solidify himself as a top cornerback in the NFL. Last Sunday, Howard secured two interceptions off Raiders QB Derek Carr, with the second being a game-changing pick late in the fourth quarter, with Oakland in a goal-line position. Expect Howard to cover either WR Josh Gordon, Chris Hogan, or former Miami Hurricane Phillip Dorsett.
5. TE Rob Gronkowski - Gronkowski is always a threat to the Miami defense. In eleven career games against the Dolphins, Gronkowski has 688 yards, to go along with eight touchdowns. Last season, Gronkowski scored twice in the November meeting at Gillette Stadium. Expect a lot of Tom Brady-Rob Gronkowski connections Sunday.
This story was written by Brandon Liguori. Follow him on Twitter: @BLiguori98
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