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Mike Petraglia, Chris Price detail how Patriots flipped the switch to beat Dolphins, clinch 6th straight AFC East 12.14.14 at 7:23 pm ET
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FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price detail how the Patriots were able to flip the switch and beat the Miami Dolphins, 41-13, Sunday at Gillette Stadium, clinching their sixth straight AFC East title. The Patriots led by only a point, 14-13, at the half before outscoring the Dolphins, 27-0, in the second half.

Read More: AFC East, Chris Price, Miami Dolphins, Mike Petraglia
Why Bill Belichick won’t ‘waste a lot of time’ firing up his team for another AFC East title 12.09.14 at 2:59 pm ET
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Bill Belichick. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Bill Belichick is focused on the Dolphins. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Bill Belichick won’t be spending much time before Sunday’s game getting his team fired up to clinch a sixth straight AFC East with a win. That’s because his focus is getting his team to simply do a better job of playing 60 minutes against an opponent that wore them down in the elements in South Florida in Week 1.

“We wouldn’t waste a lot of time on that,” Belichick said in his Tuesday conference call. “It is what it is. It’s what the standings are. So, we’ll probably cover that in about 15 seconds and move on to Miami. That’s what we need to talk about. We need to talk about how to play offense, defense and special teams against the Dolphins a lot better than we did the last time we played them, which wouldn’t take much.”

The Patriots raced out to leads of 17-7 and 20-10 but were outscored 23-0 in the final 30 minutes as the offense misfired and the defense wore down.

“We need to do a lot better job. We need to coach better, we need to play better in every phase of the game,” Belichick said. “We didn’t do anything down there well enough to deserve to win. Those are the results. If we don’t do a better job than we did the last time then I’m sure we’ll have the same results, maybe worse. We’re going to have to do things a lot better than we did in the opener. That’s what we’ll be talking about this week: what to do and how to do it. Hopefully we can have a better game plan, do a better job preparing the team and the team can do a better job performing and playing than all of us did the last time we played them.”

There was lots of talk about the lack of balance in the first game, as Brady completed just 29-of-56 passes while running the ball just 20 times. But Belichick downplayed that on Tuesday.

“Again, when you go into the game, you have a lot of different plays and you’re ready for a lot of different situations, but as the game unfolds sometimes there’s a balance and sometimes it tilts more one way than another based on any number of circumstances,” Belichick said. “We try to do what we think is best and that’s based on all the circumstances and the most important thing is to move the ball and score points offensively. If we’re doing that, regardless of how we’re doing it, we’re doing a good job. If we’re not, then we need to find a way to do it better. Balance isn’t nearly as much of a concern for me as moving the ball and scoring points. That’s really what we’re out there for.”

When 14 weeks have passed between playing the same team, what factors into deciding to change the game plan versus deciding to just execute the game plan better based on the opportunities he saw on film?

“I think it will be a combination of both. We’ve looked at the first game. I think some of the things we did, we had some success with or we kind of felt like it was the right idea. Maybe we needed to execute it better or coach it better, but we kind of had the right idea. There were some other things that I don’t think we really want to run this time around based on where we are and maybe based on watching them play 13 games and seeing how they’ve attacked or defended different things over that period of time. Some things they’ve continued to have trouble with. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: AFC East, Bill Belichick, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots
Patriots capture fifth straight AFC East title as Dolphins lose in Buffalo 12.22.13 at 4:10 pm ET
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BALTIMORE — The Patriots were winners in warmups.

New England captured its fifth straight AFC East division crown before taking a single snap at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday as the Buffalo Bills shutout the Miami Dolphins, 19-0, Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

It is the fifth straight division title for the Patriots, the ninth in 10 seasons and 11th in 13 years for Bill Belichick. The 11 division titles ties Belichick with Don Shula for the most division titles since the 1970 merger. It also marks the 15th playoff berth in 20 years of ownership by Robert Kraft.

Tom Brady also captured his 11th division title, extending his NFL record by any starting quarterback.

With the division sewed up, the Patriots are guaranteed of a home playoff game for a fifth straight year.

The Patriots were able to soak in the satisfaction while watching the video board inside M&T Bank Stadium, which was showing the Bills-Dolphins games on one half of the scoreboard while featuring the Bengals-Vikings on the other half.

Both games had direct impact on the Patriots and Ravens.

With the Dolphins losing, the Patriots weren’t the only ones punching their playoff ticket as the Bengals clinched their third straight playoff berth with a blowout 42-14 win at home over the Vikings.

Read More: AFC East, Baltimore Ravens, Bill Belichick, Miami Dolphins
Bill Belichick: Super second-half history has ‘no bearing’ on this week 11.28.12 at 3:09 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Fresh from his 200th win as an NFL head coach, Bill Belichick was in rare form Wednesday. That is to say, he wanted nothing to do with talking about how great his team has been or will be.

Dating back to Jan. 3, 2010, the Patriots are 19-0 in regular season games played in the second half of the season.

They are 3-0 this season and he was asked how significant that past history is in developing confidence in his team.

“I don’t think what our record was two years ago has anything to do with this week’s game,” Belichick said without missing a beat or batting an eye. “We’re just trying to focus on what we can do to play well this week.

“I don’t really concern myself too much with what happened in the past or what didn’t happen in the past. Right now we’re just worried about Miam [and] about doing a good job in going down there and playing well Sunday.”

The numbers are pretty overwhelming.

Belichick’s Patriots have posted a perfect second half in four seasons (2003, ’07, ’10, ’11) and have posted a “pedestrian” 7-1 in two more seasons. Both times they went 7-1 in the second half (’01 and ’04), they won the Super Bowl. Three of the four times they’ve gone 8-0, they’ve made it to the Super Bowl, winning once.

“We can look back at other years and talk about them,” Belichick said without even cracking a smile. “I don’t know whether that’s true this year or not. We’ll see.”

Belichick’s Patriots are on a five-game winning streak, and at 8-3, can clinch their 10th AFC East title in 12 years with a win on Sunday in South Florida. They lead the NFL in scoring with 407 points, turnover differential (+24) and total yards per game (435.8). Everything is pointing in the right direction.

“I think we’ve done some things well in the last couple of games,” Belichick said. “I don’t think that really has any bearing on this game. Different team, different match ups, different schemes. It’s all different. Whether we did or didn’t last week, or some other week, or some other year, I don’t think, any of it really matters.”

All that matters to Belichick is shortening the season while his team gets better and better. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: AFC East, Bill Belichick, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots
Tom Brady and ‘mentally tough’ Pats ready to turn up the heat in Miami for an AFC East title at 1:57 pm ET
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FOXBORO -‘€“ Tom Brady is a lot of things. All-world quarterback. Super-model spouse. And weather watcher – especially when it affects what he does on his workdays.

The forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and 80 degrees in South Florida for the 1 p.m. kickoff between the Patriots and Dolphins. Still, the Patriots chose to practice outdoors Wednesday as the begin preparations.

What’s at stake?

If the Patriots win, they clinch the AFC East by virtue of their 5-0 record in the division and a four-game lead over the Dolphins with four games remaining. They will own every tie-breaker as the Dolphins will already have three division losses.

“Well, there’€™s always motivation for us to go out there and win and this is a great opportunity for us,” Brady said. “We haven’€™t played these guys all season; it’€™s the first time getting a shot at them and we play them down there in their stadium. They won last week against Seattle, so I hope we go play well. We’€™ve been playing well since we lost to Seattle, I think, and hopefully we can keep it going. But they present plenty of challenges for us and they’€™ve beaten some pretty good teams this year. It should be a fun game.”

With a division title for the 10th time in 12 seasons, the Patriots will assure themselves of a home game in the playoffs. But of course, their sights are set much higher, like a No. 1 or 2 seed and a first-round bye.

“It’€™s very important,” Brady said. “We’€™re always trying to win every game we play and certainly playing against the Dolphins, a team we know very well playing them twice a year, it would to be a nice little day if we can go down there in Florida, which is always a tough place to play, especially this time of year when we haven’€™t really played a warm weather game in a while. So it will be fun.”

About the weather, how does he and the team go about preparing for that warm weather when it’€™s cold up out on the practice fields like Wednesday?

“I don’€™t know. That’€™s a good question,” Brady said. “We’€™re out on the grass fields in 35 degree weather; I don’€™t think it’€™s going to be 35 down there on Sunday. But we’€™ll just try to be a little bit mentally tough. I think that’€™s the only way you can do it.”

Here’s the rest of Wednesday’s Q and A with Brady in Foxboro: Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: AFC East, New England Patriots, nfl, Tom Brady
Setting the scene: Patriots-Broncos 12.18.11 at 12:23 pm ET
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It will be a very mild day in the Mile High City when the Patriots take the field against Tim Tebow and the Broncos this afternoon at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

The forecast calls for sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-50s at kickoff as the 10-3 Patriots can clinch their third straight AFC East title and their ninth in 11 seasons with their sixth straight win. The Patriots also clinch the AFC East with a tie and a Jets’ loss or just a Jets’ loss at Philadelphia.

The Patriots will not have Deion Branch today as he injured his groin last week during the win over the Redskins. Branch was ruled out Saturday night by the team. Patrick Chung didn’t even make the trip to Denver, as he and his injured right foot took in the Celtics scrimmage Friday at TD Garden, staying behind as the team traveled west on Friday afternoon, heading out early to adjust to the time change and altitude.

Also ruled out by the team on Saturday night were offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer (right foot), who will miss his third straight game, linebacker Brandon Spikes (right knee), missing his sixth straight game and Shane Vereen (hamstring). That leaves just two players who will be gameday scratches, one of whom will be likely be quarterback Ryan Mallett, inactive since Week 3 against the Bills.

Safety Ross Ventrone was signed off the practice squad on Saturday and will be activated for today’s game. He takes the place defensive back Malcolm Williams, who was released this week. Coach Bill Belichick said Williams was released for this game because they felt other players could better fit their scheme this week.

While the Broncos have one of the best pass rushes in the NFL, there is reason to think the Tom Brady could pick apart the secondary. Safety Brian Dawkins (neck) reportedly did not participate in the Broncos walkthrough on Saturday while various reports indicate another safety – David Bruton (Achilles) is also expected to be out. The team signed safety Kyle McCarthy back to active roster Saturday. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: AFC East, Denver Broncos, kyle orton, New England Patriots
Pats-Bills: Ready to rumble 12.26.10 at 11:20 am ET
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The Patriots can clinch their eighth AFC East Division title in their last 10 seasons with a win today in Orchard Park.

But far more importantly, the Patriots can assure themselves of a bye week of rest and ensure the AFC road to Super Bowl XLV rolls through Foxboro with a 15th straight win over the Bills as they would lock up the No. 1 seed.

The weather doesn’t figure to be nearly the issue that it is today in Philadelphia where the NFL is giving serious consideration of postponing the game game because of a forecast of over 20 inches of snow with 35 MPH winds.

It’ll be typically cold in Western New York for the last Sunday in December where a game time temperature of 21 is expected with wind chills around 10 degrees. Wind could be a factor with winds of up to 20 MPH expected. There will be flurries throughout the afternoon and the possibility of a snow shower.

The domination of the Bills by the Patriots has been well documented. The last time the Patriots were beaten by Buffalo, New England was still trying to deal with the release of popular safety Lawyer Milloy before the 2003 season opener. That week, the Patriots were blown out by the Bills, 31-0, that Sunday, Sept. 7, 2003.

Consider:

– The Red Sox were still 14 months away from ending their 86-year World Series title drought.

– The Patriots – at the time – had just a 46-40-1 advantage in their all-time series. It now stands at 60-40-1.

– The 14-game streak is the third-longest winning streak by one team over another in NFL history.

– Speaking of history Tom Brady needs to throw just three passes without an interception to pass Bart Starr and move into second on the all-time list of passes without being picked off. As a matter of fact, it’s likely the Patriots quarterback could have the chance of breaking Bernie Kosar‘s all-time record of 308 passes without an interception. Brady enters with 292 passes since last being intercepted on Oct. 17 against Baltimore.

Read More: AFC East, Bart Starr, Bernie Kosar, Buffalo Bills
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