The AFC East is suddenly a tight affair with the Patriots (5-2) holding a 1-game lead over the Jets (4-3), 1.5 games over the Dolphins (3-3), and 2 games over the Bills (3-4).
Tom E. Curran checks in with three keys for the Patriots as they host the Dolphins in a divisional battle that now has an even greater importance.
1 - Protection Would Help
Tom Brady was sacked four times last week against the Jets and things don't figure to get any easier with Cameron Wake causing chaos on the field for the Dolphins.
2 - Contain the receivers
Curran says the Dolphins lack a superstar receiver, but do have "three players who can get the job done at a very good level."
Those three are Brandon Gibson, Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace.
Wallace is the biggest name out of the three, leaving the Steelers to sign a five-year $60 million deal with the Dolphins in the offseason, however it's Hartline and Gibson who have been more dangerous this season.
3 - Don't make a big deal about last week's game
The Patriots are 5-2. They lead the AFC East. They face the Miami Dolphins this week.
These are the facts, and they are the only ones that matter on Sunday.
Nothing that happens from now until the end of the season can change what happened last week against the Jets.
So move on and focus on the task at hand - beating the Dolphins and preserving the AFC East lead.
Final Score: Patriots 31, Dolphins 24