Page 2 of 17 -- What ever happens, this is going to be fun. There's nothing like the intensity of a divisional game in December, no matter what the records are. The fact that both of these teams will likely be heading to the playoffs and may even play one another somewhere along the line in the post-season, this is why the NFL is such a fun league.
Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt said of the weather factor, "That's been a topic here for 20 years as you know. You try to tweak a few things, but the reality is that last year ... the games still come down to who is blocking and tackling and who plays the best football. That's not what the fans want to hear and that's not what the media wants to hear, but it is really the truth. I think you need to look at every year and every game individually. Last year when we came up to play the Patriots, it sure as heck wasn't effort on our team's part, it sure as heck wasn't the weather on our team's part. At the end of the game a few things didn't bounce the right way. All of the things that they might want to talk about as far as our team being tired or our team being cold, that's just not true."
Wannstedt thinks changing the team's Saturday routine has helped the team go 5-1 on the road.
"We've changed a few things up with our Saturday routine and we've played better on the road," he said. "Last year on the road we were 2-6 and this year we are 5-1, so I think that has helped a little bit and we'll see. Where our team is at right now, it really doesn't make any difference where we play or who we play, we are trying to get enough wins to get into the playoffs and that is where our mind-set is at right now."
Having said all that, there is revenge on the mind of Dolphins players. They hated the way their game in Miami ended (19-13) in overtime with Tom Brady hitting Troy Brown for an 82-yard pass. There's no love between these two teams.
"I wouldn't say revenge. I just think right now, we're at the point where if we continue to keep playing well and moving forward, we have a chance to play well in the playoffs and to get in the playoffs and that's the big picture the Super Bowl. They are in our path right now and we just have to play well against them," said defensive end Adelwale Ogunleye.
Ogunleye said of Brady's final pass, "It shouldn't have even come down to that last play. We just gave up the biggest play at the end and enough credit goes out to Tom (Brady) and them. To say that their offense is one where he drops-back passes and that's their strength, it's not. He's a short thrower. He throws to those slots. They do a great job breaking tackles. As a whole front we just need to tackle better and run to the ball." Continued...