Patriots

This stat should motivate Brian Flores for Patriots-Dolphins matchup

Patriots

The Miami Dolphins just lost to the Baltimore Ravens by 49 points ... at home. Players reportedly are asking their agents for trades.

And now they have to face the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. So, yes: There's a reason why Miami has historically long odds to win Sunday.

But there's one factor those odds may be neglecting: Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who spent the previous 15 years of his NFL coaching career working for Bill Belichick in New England, will face his old boss for the first time.

Flores will be the ninth former Belichick assistant to take on the Patriots since 2000, and the 10th former Belichick "pupil" if you include Patriots linebacker-turned-Titans head coach Mike Vrabel.

The Patriots' record in those "teacher vs. pupil" games? 14-10.

That's a 58.3 winning percentage for a team that's won 12 games or more in 11 separate seasons under Belichick.

When you drill down to Belichick's first meeting against his former coaches and players, the results are even worse: The Patriots are just 5-4 in those games and have lost the last two. Here's the rundown.

2000 -- Belichick's Patriots vs. Al Groh's New York Jets: 20-19 loss
2005 -- vs. Nick Saban's Miami Dolphins: 23-16 win
2006 -- vs. Eric Mangini's Jets: 24-17 win
2007 -- vs. Romeo Crennel's Cleveland Browns: 34-17 win
2009 -- vs. Josh McDaniels' Denver Broncos: 20-17 loss (overtime)
2010 -- vs. Jim Schwartz's Detroit Lions: 45-24 win
2015 -- vs. Bill O'Brien's Houston Texans: 27-6 win
2018 -- vs. Matt Patricia's Lions: 26-10 loss
2018 -- vs. Mike Vrabel's Tennessee Titans: 34-10 loss


The Patriots are favored by 18.5 points in Miami on Sunday, and Schwartz and O'Brien would tell you they're capable of covering that spread. Belichick also doesn't seem concerned about Flores deploying his state secrets against him.

 

"Every week we play and coach against players and coaches that have been on our team before," Belichick said on a conference call Tuesday. "That's basically the way it is in the National Football League."

But Belichick's disciples historically have gotten their teams ready to play against New England, with unusually successful results. And for Patriots fans who believe this year's Dolphins team is a disaster ... you're right. But remember what happened the last time the Pats traveled to Miami?

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