Patriots getting a retro feel

Patriots getting a retro feel
December 14, 2013, 1:15 pm
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MIAMI – The Patriots have gone retro.
 
From 2001 to 2006, the consensus around the league was the Patriots weren’t that talented, they just found a way to win. Over and over and over.
 
Sometimes the observation was made with respect for their efficiency, doggedness and resiliency. Other times it was made dismissively, with luck and smoke and mirrors being behind the success.
 
The 2007 season squished that narrative and the 2010 through 2012 Patriots – with all their offensive weaponry and a few Pro Bowl defenders – never heard a “pfffftttt….”
 
There is “pfffftttt…” emanating from the Dolphins this week. They’ve kept it respectful in the run-up, but if Miami walks off the field Sunday with a win, place $50 on Mike Wallace and a few Dolphins defenders being unable to help themselves.
 
“We know we can match up with this team. It’s just when it comes down to the final quarter, they find a way to win,” said Miami corner Nolan Carroll. “That’s what they do well. We need to do that, too. We’re not frustrated because we know we can play with this team.”
 
Reminded of the Patriots domination of Miami (seven straight wins), Wallace replied, “I don’t think they dominated us this year. They won the game. But you’re still talking about the past, though, right? We got a game to play on Sunday. It’ll be at 1 o’clock. You just show up. We got a little something up our sleeve.”
 
The Dolphins should feel good about where they are. They’ve won four of six since facing the Patriots. The losses were tight. The loss to the Patriots at Gillette in October was preventable. The Patriots are – as they’ve been for weeks – pockmarked by injury.
 
Discussion of which team is more talented has been rife this week.
 
Sitting in awe of the Patriots isn’t going to help Miami win Sunday. And swagger is good. The Dolphins are being told by their coaching staff this week to fight their fight, take the Patriots 15 rounds and watch the late-round widowmaker that Tom Brady is capable of throwing.
 
Seems like old times.