House of Horrors: Patriots Look for Key Road Win Over Dolphins

Ryan PickardCorrespondent IDecember 3, 2009

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 8:  Randy Moss #81 of the New England Patriots gains yards against the defense of Vontae Davis of the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on November 8, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots won 27-17. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

As the Patriots get ready for this week's game against the Miami Dolphins, one can't help but look back on the history of this rivalry and notice one key thing: No matter what record these two teams have, the Patriots always seem to struggle when they play in Miami.

All-time, the Pariots have played 44 games in Miami including the playoffs. They have gone 11-31 in the regular season and 1-1 in the playoffs. That isn't exaclty something any Pats fan wants to read as they get ready to watch this Sunday's game.

There really isn't any reason for this that I can think of at least. For some reason the Pats have just had a hard time winning down in Miami. This decade they have gone 4-5 in Miami and will look to close out the decade finishing 5-5.

With Miami just two games back and the Patriots recent road struggles this is just about a must win game and will go a long way in determining if the Pats have a chance at doing some damage in the playoffs this year.

In their first meeting back on November 8, the game wasn't determined until about a minute left in the game. The game went back and forth for the most part as the Pats took the lead right as the third quarter came to a close.

The Dolphins would take the lead in the fourth quarter on a Ronnie Brown pass to Joey Haynos.

It would only take a minute for the Pats to retake the lead as Tom Brady hit Randy Moss for a 71-yard pass giving the Pats the lead for good as Stephen Gostkowski added a FG late.

This game is expected to be much the same with only a few changes.

Ronnie Brown will not play in this game after his season was ended against the Tampa Bay Buccanners after Brown injured his right foot and was subsequently placed on injured reserve.

Brown was the leader of the wildcat that ripped through the Pats defense in week three of last year and his injury will change the way the Dolphins go about this game.

The Dolphins still have Ricky Williams—who has done a great job in his place and shown that his career is not over yet. If the Pats can neutralize Ricky they should win the game.

Another thing that will go a long way in deciding the outcome of this game is whether or not the Pats offensive line can contain Joey Porter and Jason Taylor.

In their first matchup the Pats held Porter to zero tackles and Taylor to just three tackles. The offensive line will have to do another stellar job and give Brady time in the pocket so he can find the open receivers.

Can the Patriots win on the road? This has been the question all season long.

The one thing most people haven't noticed is who the Patriots have lost to on the road. Indianapolis, New Orleans, Denver, and the Jets were all undefeated when the Pats went to play them.

Aside from New Orleans every one of those games were close and the Pats know they need to win on the road to show they have a shot in the playoffs.

If the Pats can win this game they will all but have secured themselves as AFC East Champions. With all this said, it should be another great game in one of the best rivalries in the NFL today.

My prediction is 28-17 Patriots.