Winners of 6 straight, Pats host Dolphins on Sunday

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — After a bumpy start to the 2017 season, the New England Patriots are again the team to beat in the AFC East.

The Patriots (8-2) have overcome a preseason injury to receiver Julian Edelman and season-ending shoulder injury to linebacker Dont’a Hightower to post six straight victories following a 2-2 start .

They will play five of their final six games against division opponents. First up are the Dolphins (4-6), who have lost four straight. Another defeat would give them their longest losing streak since 2011. Miami coach Adam Gase’s predecessor, Joe Philbin, never lost five in a row.

Dolphins safety T.J. McDonald said the onus is on them to turn things around.

“The bleedings not going to stop on its own. We have to put the fire out,” he said.

There also is the added scheduling quirk that will have these teams meeting twice over the next three weeks. New England travels to Miami for a Monday night matchup on Dec. 11.

New England safety Devin McCourty said it’s been “different” having played only one division game at this point of a season.

“I think it’s pressure for the fact that no matter how the season has (gone) when you have all these division games at the end, it kind of leaves the division still up for grabs because the

Article source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/redskins/winners-of-6-straight-pats-host-dolphins-on-sunday/2017/11/24/97ace0ee-d14f-11e7-a87b-47f14b73162a_story.html

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