For most teams, a road game means leaving on Saturday and returning home on Sunday. For the Patriots, their first game of the season will entail a slightly longer stay.
As noted by Mike Reiss of ESPN.com in his excellent Sunday column focusing on all things Patriots, the team will be heading to South Florida on Tuesday, in order to get properly acclimated to the heat and humidity.
Via Reiss, Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty previously has said that the Miami climate is “always a little bit of a shock in pregame.” Chris Simms has said on PFT Live that, for some players, the excursion to Miami takes on a vacation vibe, which can create a distraction.
That’s the counter to spending five days in Miami. The players, who by rule have gotten a few days off over the Labor Day weekend, could get caught up in the South Beach scene when they have some down time.
If anyone can keep them focused, however, it’s coach Bill Belichick. And the easiest way to do it will be to show them some Tyreek Hill film.
Or maybe Belichick can just remind them that they’ve lost two in a row in Miami, four out of five there, and seven out of nine. Even though the Patriots typically have the better team across the board.
That’s the other problem for the Patriots. This year, for the first time in a long time, the Dolphins look to be the clearly better team.