The New England Patriots, including quarterback Tom Brady himself, have had more trouble winning in Miami than just about any other place in the NFL over the last two decades.
The Dolphins haven't been a formidable opponent for most of the Patriots' 20-year run of dominance, but that hasn't prevented New England from often struggling in the Florida heat.
The Patriots suffered one of their toughest losses of the 2018 season in Miami, where the Dolphins pulled off a miraculous Week 14 win with a 69-yard touchdown as time expired. The defending Super Bowl champions will return to Miami on Sunday for a Week 2 matchup against the Dolphins.
Brady has lost 10 times in 17 games he's played in Miami, compared to just 19 losses in 135 career games in Foxboro.
"We've had, for one reason or another, struggles over a lot of years," Brady told reporters after Wednesday's practice. "I think they even pre-date me, which is hard to say because I've been here for a while. Five of our last six we've lost. I remember when we finally beat them down there for the first time, I don't know if it was 2003 or 2004 on the pass to Troy Brown. That was the first time in however many years.
"It's a challenging place to play. I think it's challenging when they come up here, and I think it's challenging when we go down there. It's just dealing with different elements and showing a lot of mental toughness. Last year I thought we played a pretty good game, but I think coach re-iterates it's 60 minutes. In football, a lot of crazy things happen. These guys are extremely skilled, and they're great players. We can't take our eye off what the goal is -- and that's to play a great 60 minutes of football against a team that we've always struggled against (on the road). It's a division game on the road early in the season, so it means a lot."
The Patriots struggled on the road last season, finishing with a 3-5 record away from Gillette Stadium. These road struggles cost the Patriots the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs, even if ultimately didn't prevent them from reaching and winning Super Bowl LIII.
Sunday's matchup is a great opportunity for the Patriots to start well on the road and keep building confidence as they integrate many new players into the fold on both sides of the ball.
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