MIAMI GARDENS, Florida – The Patriots had a little bit of adversity to overcome on their flight down to South Florida.
Because of equipment issues with their plane, the team wound up landing around 8:30 p.m., nearly three hours later than scheduled. That caused the team to alter its meetings at the hotel, according to a source, and means a quicker turnaround this morning.
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One way in which it could impact the team is fatigue and hydration. With temperatures today in the 70s, the Patriots are playing in warmth they haven’t dealt with in months. The time to get ready for that is the day and evening prior to exertion and – when New England travels – the training and nutritional staff is critical the night before the game in terms of getting players game ready in terms of massage, treatment and getting the body fed right.
The Patriots have occasionally come to Florida two days in advance of games rather than the day before to allow players to acclimate. How players hold up, whether cramping becomes an issue and second-half performance will all be things to watch for when the game kicks off.
These kinds of small challenges that inconvenience, test patience and have the potential to irritate are precisely the kind the Patriots have prided themselves on not being daunted by in Bill Belichick’s tenure. Control what you can control and all that. It will be a good test for Week 17 in addition to the one Miami poses.