The collective fates of the Patriots and Dolphins branched in separate directions in 2003, and the intersection was a ten minute period during a Week Seven matchup.
Sure-footed Dolphins kicker missed two potential game winning field goals, both kicked while in the Florida Marlins infield dirt. (In every other season this decade, the infield would have been gone by this point, but the Marlins won the World Series this year, so the field was still in tact.) After a few possessions in overtime with no scoring, the Patriots took over at their own 20 yard line after an interception. On the first play of the new series, Tom Brady hit Troy Brown for an 80-yard, game-winning touchdown. The Patriots improved to 4-2 after the win, and Miami fell to 4-2.
Two months later, the two teams faced off again in Foxboro. The Patriots hadn't lost since before the first meeting, and Miami was hanging onto its flattening playoff life line. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, Massachusetts was rocked with a foot and a half of snow on the eve of their revenge match. They stood no chance from the second they stepped on the field. The Patriots dominated for a 12-0 victory, with the lone touchdown coming off of a Teddy Bruschi interception return for a touchdown. The infamous shot is him throwing the snow in the air. What isn't as well documented is the fact that Dolphins fans who attended the game like myself were covered in snow by the end of the game. The endless barrage of snowballs thrown at me that night by Pats fans is something I still think of, and it makes every Dolphins victory over the Patriots that much better.
New England would go on to finish 14-2 and win the Super Bowl. Miami finished 10-6 and missed the playoffs. In the following six seasons, the Patriots would win five more division titles, go to two more Super Bowls, and add another Lombardi trophy. The Dolphins had four losing seasons, including a 1-15 campaign, and have not won a playoff game since this moment. Who knows what would have happened if Miami had won that game in October.