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Miami defence will be on the warpath.

MIAMI have lost on their last seven visits to Gillette Stadium but there is a sense of optimism in south Florida as the Dolphins prepare for their 100th game against New England.

The attitude is in marked contrast to three weeks ago when they were feeling sorry for themselves, having put up a dismal performance in losing 27-14 against the New York Jets at Wembley.

That result proved the last straw as head coach Joe Philbin was shown the door, but they have made a marked improvement under Dan Campbell, who was given his chance after previously coaching the tight ends.

The Dolphins have dragged themselves back to a 3-3 record with victories over Tennessee and Houston in which they have scored 82 points.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill should also be more confident having thrown no interceptions against the Texans when he had been picked off seven times in his previous three games.

And there have been improvements on the other side of the ball as well.

The defence forced ten sacks in those two games while they got to the quarterback only once in the three matches this season when Philbin was in charge, so things are definitely looking up.

The problem now is how they will fare against a team who are unbeaten in their six matches.

None of New England's opponents have got within a touchdown of the Super Bowl champions and while the Jets made them sweat on Sunday, Bill Belichick's side are looking well placed to mount a big challenge this season.

Quarterback Tom Brady is among eight players who have scored touchdowns this season - it is no surprise to see tight end Rob Gronkowski leading the way with six - so there are plenty of options from which to choose.

The Patriots offensive line have played above themselves in protecting Brady but this could prove a tougher test for them if the Dolphins can maintain the level of defensive play they have displayed lately.

Miami took their foot off the pedal after establishing a 41-point lead over Houston on Sunday so they could prove fresher than their opponents.

The Patriots have averaged 35.5 points a game in their excellent start to the campaign but they could find tonight a more frustrating experience.

Recommendation Under 30.5 New England points 1pt Evs Paddy Power Miami at New England The lowdown TV Sky Sports 1 Starts 12.25am Venue Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts Surface Artificial Weather Cloudy, 11C Best handicaps Miami +8; New England -7.5 Points line 51 points Team news Miami Cornerback Brent Grimes has been limited in practice with knee and rib injuries, but otherwise the Dolphins have few injury concerns.

New England Offensive lineman Marcus Cannon has been struggling with a toe injury and running back Dion Lewis hopes to recover from an abdomen injury after missing Sunday's win over the New York Jets.

Key stat Miami have covered the handicap in just three of their last 11 matches

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Tight end Rob Gronkowski is a huge threat for New England

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 29, 2015
Words:509
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