FOXBORO, Massachusetts (Ticker) -- Coach Dave Wannstedt has felt quite helpless this season. Walking into Foxboro on Sunday will probably add to the depression.
New England Patriots
can set an NFL record for consecutive wins when they host Wannstedt and the
, who are off to an 0-4 start for the first time since their inaugural 1966 season.
The Patriots matched the record of 18 straight wins, including playoffs, held by five other NFL teams, with last week's 31-17 victory over the
. They can stand alone with a win over the Dolphins.
But the Patriots don't seem interested in making history.
"We don't care anything about a record," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "We're just trying to win another division game."
"As coach would say, we're looking forward, we're not looking backward," Patriots quarterback
said. "If you look back, teams are going to track you down and beat you. And Miami may not have any wins, but they have a great defense."
The Patriots won their last 12 regular-season games in 2003, three postseason contests and their first three games this season to match the 18 won by the 1997-98
, the 1989-90 San Francisco 49ers, the 1972-73 Dolphins, and the 1941-42 and 1933-34
Nick Buoniconti, a Hall of Fame linebacker on the NFL's only perfect team - the 1972 Dolphins which finished 17-0 - has downplayed New England's streak.
"There's absolutely no pressure on those guys. Go 16-0 and 15-0, and then tell me what the pressure is like," Buoniconti said. "Winning 17 games over two years just isn't the same. Tiger Woods won four majors, but he did it over a two-year span. That's not the same as winning four majors in one year."
Now these Dolphins would just like to win a game. Without retired running back
, the offense appears lost. Neither
or A.J. Feeley seems capable of directing an offense without a running game.
"I'm sure his teammates wish they had him (Williams) on the field," Patriots cornerback
said. "That's like us losing
. That's what
meant to that offense."
That offense has gone eight straight quarters without a touchdown. And in three of its losses, the offense has given up a touchdown on interception returns.
Fiedler returned after a two-game benching and threw for 206 yards, but committed four turnovers in a 17-9 loss to the
New York Jets
, Miami's starting running back due to injuries to
, broke off a 53-yard run. On his 17 other carries, he produced just 32 yards.
Meanwhile, the Patriots are clicking on all cylinders. Brady threw for 298 yards and two touchdowns,
rushed for 79 yards and a score and the defense recorded seven sacks, including two by linebacker
, in the win at Buffalo.
The Patriots won both meetings from the Dolphins last season, including a 12-0 shutout in the snow here on December 7. The defense accounted for nine of the points on an interception return by Bruschi and a safety.
Matchup to watch: Patriots left tackle
faces right end
Series: Miami leads, 44-30.
Next week: Miami visits Buffalo, October 17 New England hosts Seattle, October 17