It's a matchup that's been eagerly anticipated ever since the 2014 NFL season schedule was announced. Two bitter rivals going head to head against each other. It's a long hard season, but whoever wins will be given a massive morale boost in their quest to the playoffs. Hold onto your hats this weekend, because the New England Patriots are in town to face the Miami Dolphins.
Some of you may be wondering how exactly this rivalry came about. It's not as if the Patriots are a state rival. In fact the distance between the two stadiums is some 1,200 miles apart.
Let's take it back from the start.
The Dolphins made their debut in the American Football League back in 1966, playing their first game against (you guessed it) the New England Patriots. Back then, the Dolphins were a few years away from success. The Patriots scored the first twenty points that day, before Miami rallied to add another fourteen points. Sadly, it wasn't enough.
For the next couple of years, the rivalry began to take shape. One year the Dolphins would win, and the next it would be the Patriots. Then, in 1971, the Dolphins became a Super Bowl powerhouse. The game was a great day for Miami fans as the team cruised to a 41-3 victory against the Patriots. The Patriots didn't fair much better the next year during Miami's 1972 perfect season, and were thumped 52-0. And the year after? Our beloved Dolphins won again, this time with a 44-23 win. Suddenly, the bitter rivalry we have grown accustomed to, was born.
Fast-forward to present day, and the Dolphins and the Patriots are the two most successful AFC East franchises. To date, the Dolphins have accumulated two Super Bowls, three AFC East titles, fourteen division titles, twenty playoff wins and four hundred and fifteen regular season wins. Meanwhile, the Patriots have four and thirty-eight regular season victories, twenty-five playoff wins, fourteen AFC East titles and three Super Bowls wins.
The Dolphins and Patriots are also the two teams associated with the perfect season. The Dolphins had a clean sweep in both the regular season and the playoffs on their way to winning Super Bowl VII. In 2007, the Patriots tried, and almost replicated the Dolphins unbeaten season by going 17-0 in the regular season, only to fall to the New York Giants at the last hurdle during the Super Bowl in a 17-14 loss.
Miami also hold the bragging rights to the most wins against the Patriots, with 50 regular season wins to the Patriots' 44 wins. However, the Patriots do hold the playoff matchups with a 2-1 record in their favor.
And there we have it. Two rivals that couldn't be more different from one another. One team used to playing in the sweltering heat alongside the crystal blue waters of Miami, while the other more accustomed to the colder climate and the snowy weather. Clearly the weather will play a factor this Saturday.
This Sunday is the New England Patriots against the Miami Dolphins. Are you ready for this historic matchup?
Alex Parish is an Associate Editor at The Phinsider. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @AlexParish89.