Taking a trip to Miami is usually a vacation for most people, but not for the New England Patriots. As a matter of fact, for most of the past decade the trip down to South Florida has been a total nightmare for the Patriots.
Due to their struggles on the road against the Dolphins, Patriots coach Bill Belichick has decided to change up the team’s travel plans this week. Normally, when the Patriots have a road game, they leave on Saturday for a Sunday game. For the opener though, the Patriots will be leaving on TUESDAY for their Sunday game against the Dolphins, which means the team will be getting a full five days in Miami before kickoff.
Belichick was asked about the strategy over the weekend and although he didn’t go into details about why he made the change, he definitely thought this decision through.
“I think there are a combination of factors, but in the end it all looks like it’s set up fairly well here,” Belichick said, via quotes from the team. “So, make the travel on Tuesday instead of on Saturday. We’ll already be down there. We’ll be able to just focus on the Dolphins.”
The reason Belichick wants to get to Miami early likely has everything to do with getting his players adjusted to the heat and humidity. Patriots’ pass-rusher Matthew Judon said this week that everyone knows the problem with Miami is that there’s no way to get around the heat and humidity.
“It’s going to be hot. I think that’s really kind of a mindset thing. You really can’t do nothing differently,” Judon said, via Audacy. “It’s going to be hot. It’s going to be humid. It’s going to be muggy. Everybody is going to feel it. So just hydrate and do as much as you can. But it’s going to be hot in Miami.”
Playing in Miami has been a total disaster for the Patriots in recent years. Since 2013, the Patriots have played at Hard Rock Stadium a total of nine times and they’ve gone 2-7 in those games. The most improbable loss came during Week 14 of the 2018 season when the Dolphins came up with a miracle to beat the Patriots on the final play.
In more recent years, the Patriots have lost two straight games in Miami and both losses were by multiple scores, so Belichick will be hoping that taking his team on a five-day trip to South Florida will help them end their string of bad luck against the Dolphins.