Patriots

Dolphins complete rare feat against Patriots in season finale

Patriots

In the latest sign that the AFC East no longer runs through Foxboro, the Miami Dolphins have done something no divisional foe has done to the New England Patriots in two decades.

On the same day the Buffalo Bills became the first team to win consecutive AFC East titles other than the Patriots in more than 30 years, the Dolphins have become the first team within the division to beat New England in three straight games since Miami itself, as well as the New York Jets, accomplished the feat between 2000-01, Bill Belichick's first two seasons on the job.

The Patriots won their first game of the post-Tom Brady era against the Dolphins in Week 1 of the 2020 season at Gillette Stadium, but have lost their last three against Miami, including both matchups this season -- Week 1 in Foxboro, 17-16, and 33-24 on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium.

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Brian Flores, who coached in New England under Belichick from 2004-18, is now 4-2 against his mentor with Miami.

It's the second year in a row the Patriots have been swept by an AFC East team after the Buffalo Bills did so last season, although New England won its first matchup against Buffalo in 2021 to avoid a third straight loss.

The Seattle Seahawks also have an active three-game win streak against the Patriots in the regular, although the teams aren't scheduled to meet again until 2024. Of course, New England defeated Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX during this stretch after the 2014 season.

The Patriots lost three straight games against the New York Giants as well under Belichick, including the postseason: Super Bowl XLII, Week 9 of the 2011 season and Super Bowl XLVI after the 2011 season.