New England Patriots

“Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” –Vince Lombardi

Credit: Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/Boston Hearald

Tom Brady is 7-9 in his career in Miami, coming off the 27-20 loss on Monday night. Divisional games are never easy, however Miami seems to give Brady the most trouble in the east, splitting the series 4 of the last 5 years. The game wasn’t as close as the score indicates and this is the first time in Jay Cutler’s career that he has beaten Tom Brady. Is it time to panic in Foxborough? The New England Patriots are now 11-3 and just traveled to the AFC leading, Pittsburgh Steelers, on Sunday and won in a very controversial fashion.

Yes they have Tom Brady, the 40 year old quarterback who still has his name in the MVP conversation, and probably the greatest coach ever in Bill Belichick, but there is still cause for concern. New England’s defense has been suspect throughout most of the season and they just gave up 360 yards of offense to the Dolphins. The Patriots have the second most expensive secondary in all of football, only the Seahawks (44 million) have a more expensive position group. That secondary allowed Jay Cutler to post a passer rating of 112.1, his best as a Dolphin. The Patriots defense as whole ranks 29th in yards allowed this season. Brady didn’t help his struggling defense by throwing 2 interceptions to Xavier Howard and finishing with a passer rating of only 59.5.

After a disappointing performance Monday night, no, it is absolutely not time to panic for the Patriots. Gronkowski’s return from his suspension and this defense, despite all the yards, still ranks in the top five in points per game. Brady and Hoodie don’t lose back to back games too often and Sunday battle earned them home field throughout the AFC playoffs. 1 seed, 2 seed, 3 seed, 4, expect the New England Patriots to be around deep into January and possibly more.

And the craziest part about all of this is, they close out their last two games at home and with the clinch, realistically, the Patriots wouldn’t have to get on a plane until January 28th to head to the Super Bowl. Panic button…off.

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