Welcome to Land Shark Stadium

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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Welcome to Land Shark Stadium, where the New England Patriots (7-4) will take on the Miami Dolphins (5-6) at 1 p.m.

It’s a beautiful day here in Miami Gardens, which is about a 25-minute drive from downtown Miami. It’s sunny, and temperatures are expected to stay in the lower to mid-70’s. There’s a slight chance of rain, but nothing like the snow that blasted New England last night and early this morning. In other words, it’s a true home field advantage for the Dolphins.

And how about that home field? Miami is averaging 30.2 points per game in this building, but they’re just 3-2 in those contests. This game has obvious meaning in the AFC East, where the Jets sit at 2-4, the Dolphins sit at 3-2, and the Patriots hold a slim lead at 3-1. A loss in Miami today would make things a lot more interesting for New England.

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Mercifully for those covering (and watching) this game, today’s contest was moved up from an 8:20 start time to 1 p.m. That means you’ll get to watch it without getting too sleepy, and we’ll get to post all of the Globe’s Pats-Dolphins coverage online before 3 a.m. It’s a win all around.

The early start hasn’t slowed the tailgating outside the stadium. It’s like a beach party out there. There’s a benefit to playing games in south Florida.

Back with plenty more from Kilgore, Walker, Breer, Gasper, and myself as we approach gametime.

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