The New England Patriots gladly welcome the Miami Dolphins to Gillette Stadium on Sunday with one thing in mind, revenge. Miami topped the Patriots 33-20 in Miami on week 1 of the season. This kicked off the Patriots’ 2-2 start, and started to raise questions of whether or not Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski could still play at a high level in the NFL.
Since that meeting, both teams have trended in slightly different directions. While both teams have playoff aspirations, the Patriots have gone on a tear. This team has gone 10-2 since their loss at Miami. Rob Gronkowski has been on an absolute tear, and is looking like his old 2011 self again. He has ten touchdowns on 73 catches for nearly 1,000 yards. He may be posing for pictures with kittens and boy-idols outside of football, but you can’t say anything negative about his production on the field.
Miami has been an improved bunch as well, but they are on a bit of a skid. They currently hold a 7-6 record, and sit on the outside looking into the playoff picture. After their 1-2 start, the team won 4 of their next 5 games. However, they are on a 2-3 skid during the toughest part of their schedule. This week may be their toughest test yet. According to RazorGator, the average price of Patriots tickets this season so far has been $213.02.
On average, fans are paying $220.61 for tickets to this game. Because this game could determine the fate of both teams, the get-in price is $79.00. Surprisingly, prices have dropped 20% in the past seven days, regardless of the fact that it could eliminate New England’s chances of having home field advantage throughout the entire playoffs.
Look for Miami’s third-ranked pass defense to pose a threat to Tom Brady’s lackluster receiving corps. Other than Gronkowski and receiver Julian Edelman, the Patriots lack a threat that you have to scheme around. If Miami can keep Gronk’s yards down below 75, and keep him out of the end zone, then they should have a chance at the upset.
This game is crucial for both teams. Not only is it a divisional matchup, there are major playoff implications riding on this game for both teams. New England needs to win to hold serve with Denver for the top seed in the AFC. The Dolphins could potentially be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss. Not to mention, these division rivals aren’t very big fans of each other. It should be a very fun game to watch on Sunday.