It seems as though every single week that goes by in the NFL presents a whole new challenge to be faced, as well as the opportunity to learn a bit more about a team. This week, the New England Patriots will have to stand up to a somewhat unique set of difficulties.
The team is coming out of a white-hot winning streak that saw them accomplish an exhilarating three-leg, 10-day winning streak against Denver, Colorado Springs, and Mexico City. The question here is; will they be able to keep up their steam against the Miami Dolphins in their home game this week? Do they really have the mental fortitude and competitive maturity to maintain their edge? This Thanksgiving week will see the spotlight shine brightly upon them as we wait to find out the answers to these questions.
The Patriots’ game odds aren’t looking bad at all on the face of it considering the fact that they’ll be going up against a Dolphins team that's been struggling for a while now, but as we well know, anything can happen when it comes to the NFL. Just take a look at this week’s results for a ready example; Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs came off a bye with a 16-2 record only to lose on the road against the New York Giants, who only had one win to their credit.
The Patriots' coach, Bill Belichick, sounded an uncharacteristic note of concern during an interview on sports radio WEEI, stating that the squad is exhausted on the back of their whirlwind trip of away games. It isn’t a statement Belichick would make lightly, so we know the Patriots will need some serious recharging to see them back to firing on all cylinders.
To help make sure his team is at 100 percent come game time, he gave them Monday and Tuesday off, and they loved that, but he also had a message for them as we saw in a video posted on Patriots.com; be ready to go on Wednesday...put in a good day’s work.
The Patriots haven’t been ones to let Belichick down of late, especially looking at the transformation they made coming off of their week 9 bye. They’ve stepped things up in a big way in seemingly every area of their game.
According to Patriots safety Devin McCourty, speaking after their win on Sunday, one of the most common questions they hear at the beginning of each season is; what's your team’s identity? His answer to this is that each team kind of has to figure out the answer to that as they go along. It goes from working out how they need to prepare for games, understanding how they need to carry out their practice sessions, and on to establishing what each and everyone needs to be doing at each particular time. It’s all about the execution, as he put it.
As to the question of his team’s identity, McCourty’s of the opinion that theirs is a blue-collar team this year, and so the rest of us can all look forward to seeing how this blue-collar team handles this perilous time in their season’s run. It should offer up some noteworthy insights into the core of the Patriots’ fighting spirit.
Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots Betting Odds