Can Tom Brady and the Pats wrap up the AFC East title?
Where: Sun Life Stadium
When: 18.00 (GMT)
Watch live: Click here to watch on NowTV from Sky!
It’s not that the New England Patriots are trying to sugarcoat the loss of Rob Gronkowski, but they feel fortunate to have succeeded in this situation before.
With a chance to clinch the AFC East on Sunday against the host Miami Dolphins, they are doing their best to take it in stride.
Gronkowski suffered a serious knee injury in last week’s 27-26 comeback win over Cleveland and will be out for the rest of the season, playing in just seven games after missing the first six due to back and forearm issues.
New England (10-3) went 5-1 in the star tight end’s absence.
A win or tie Sunday would give the Patriots their fifth straight division title and 10th in 11 seasons, and they’d clinch a playoff berth regardless of the result if Baltimore doesn’t win in Detroit on Monday night.
Victories haven’t come easy lately, though.
New England’s three-game winning streak hasn’t been for the faint of heart. It overcame a 24-point deficit to beat Denver 34-31 in overtime Nov. 24, then rallied from 10 down at halftime before Stephen Gostkowski kicked a pair of 53-yard field goals in the final 7:16 for a 34-31 win over Houston on Dec. 1.
The Patriots scored 13 points and recovered an onside kick in the final 61 seconds last week.
New England had to rally from a 17-3 halftime deficit against the Dolphins in the first meeting Oct. 27, scoring 24 unanswered points to earn its seventh straight victory in the series.
Brady finished 13 of 22 for 116 yards — his fewest when playing a full game since throwing for 78 against the Dolphins on Dec. 10, 2006 — and he’s expecting Miami to present another tough challenge.