The Patriots have swept the other two teams in the division, the only one they've yet to play is the Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins are coming off a win against the Seattle Seahawks, something both last year's top two - The Patriots and Jets - struggled to do.
"We know what kind of team Seattle is," said Belichick earlier today on a conference call.
Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill has not struggled like most have thought. He's shown up in key situations and it seems like the Dolphins haven't put any training wheels on him like other teams have been known to handle their young quarterbacks (*cough* Jets *cough*).
Tannehill is completing 59% of his passes, which is impressive for a rookie. His 12 interceptions though (tied for 6th in the league) is a side effect of his rookie status. Turning the ball over is not something you want to do against this Patriots defense, as you've seen in the past.
The Dolphins are currently 5-6, good for second in the division. If they had lost last week, the Patriots would have clinched the division. That means that now the Patriots will have a "championship game" Sunday, as Tom Brady said, meaning they will clinch the division with a win Sunday.
“It assures you a home playoff game,” said Brady. “That’s goal number one. That’s what we can accomplish this week. We always talk about championship games, and this is a championship game.”
“They won a big game yesterday against Seattle, a team we lost to. It’s a team we always have a tough time with down in Florida. They’re athletic. They can rush the quarterback. Cameron Wake is one of the best players we’ll play all season.”
Are the Dolphins the biggest test that the Patriots will face this year? No, let's not overstate it. That comes in the two weeks following (vs Texans, vs 49ers) However, they might just be the biggest test they'll have faced in the division. A stark change from years past when the Jets were the unanimous class of second place in the AFC East. One thing to remember is that the Patriots haven't swept their entire division recently, so even after scoring 108 points in four days, Patriots fans shouldn't get overconfident here.