The New England Patriots have been one of the most consistently dominant teams in the 21st century. It even gets to a point where it looks like teams are afraid to play them. One team that claims they are not scared of the Patriots is AFC East rival Miami Dolphins. Ndamukong Suh claimed the other day that the Dolphins are not scared of the defending Super Bowl 51 champions.
Here are three reasons why the Dolphins should be afraid of the Patriots:
The Patriots reloaded in the off-season.
The Patriots did not settle for the team they had in the 2016 season to go with in the 2017 season. They reloaded in a significant way. They traded for star wide receiver Brandin Cooks as well as underrated defensive end Kony Ealy. They also signed running backs Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee as well as wide receiver Andrew Hawkins. Some have gone to say that the Patriots had one of the best off-seasons in the Salary Cap Era.
Bill Belichick is always focused on the present, not the past.
Most teams that reach the Super Bowl seem to struggle the following season, the most recent example being the Carolina Panthers. They went from a Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl 50 to missing the playoffs in 2016. Bill Belichick does not allow for this to happen. Belichick has proven to be the type of head coach that preaches focus on the task at hand and not thinking about what was accomplished the previous season.
The Dolphins defense is not as good as the Patriots.
The old saying goes, “offense wins games and defense wins championships.” The Dolphins should fear the Patriots because their defense needs a lot of improvement. The Dolphins were 4th-worst in the NFL in yards per game, giving up 382.6 YPG. The Patriots meanwhile were 8th best in the NFL in YPG on defense only allowing 326.4 yards per game. The Dolphins were also in the lower half of the league, giving up 380 total points in the 2016 season while the Patriots were 1st in the NFL by only allowing 250 total points.
The Patriots are just a better overall team and better coached than the Dolphins. The Patriots also added more impact players than the Dolphins did this off-season. Miami should stop focusing on proving they are not afraid of the Patriots and start focusing on just getting back to the playoffs in the upcoming 2017 season.