W2W4: Dolphins at Patriots

October, 26, 2013
10/26/13
9:30
AM ET
The Miami Dolphins (3-3), who are on a three-game losing streak, will travel to face the first-place New England Patriots (5-2) in a big game for both teams.

Here are three things to watch from the Dolphins’ perspective:

1.Where is Miami’s confidence? It wasn’t long ago when the Dolphins were riding high after a fast, 3-0 start. But much of that swagger and confidence has been lost after dropping three straight games. The Dolphins are suddenly a struggling football team desperate seeking a win, and Gillette Stadium is one of the hardest venues to pull the upset. Miami hasn’t won in Foxborough since 2008. Most of New England’s wins against Miami at Gillette Stadium haven’t been close. We will know right away if the Dolphins are confident in themselves based on the competitiveness in the first half. Miami has the talent to make it a close game, but lack of confidence could also lead to a blowout defeat.

2. Tannehill’s turnovers: For the first time all year, Miami second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill is facing some heat. He got off to a fast start but is starting to hit a wall. Tannehill has six turnovers in the past three games and his completion percentage has dropped to 51.9 in the past two games. Tannehill has been sacked 26 times already, and perhaps it’s starting to take a toll. He showed up on the injury report with a right (throwing) shoulder injury. The Dolphins need Tannehill to get back on his game and be sharp, mentally and physically, for a chance to upset New England and future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady.

3. Road warriors: For some odd reason, the Dolphins have been a better team on the road (2-1) this year than at home (1-2). Miami is hoping that trend sticks on Sunday in Foxborough. The Dolphins already have two quality road wins against the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts. Miami’s only road loss was to the New Orleans Saints on “Monday Night Football.” The Dolphins didn’t play well in last year’s visit to Foxborough, losing to the Patriots 28-0.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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