New England Patriots: Safeties Have Become Big Play Makers in the Secondary

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Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots rolled to a 36-7 win over the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night for their seventh consecutive regular season win (and tenth in a row counting last year’s playoffs). New England is now 7-0 for the first time since 2007 and topped 30 points for the sixth time in seven games. Other than the first quarter of the first game of the season, the Patriots have not been shut out in a quarter during this season which is almost half over.

Must-read: 10 reasons why the Pats are undefeated right now

Despite the Dolphins winning two straight games over the previous two weeks under interim head coach Dan Campbell, the Patriots still rolled over Miami. The Dolphins had scored 82 points combined in their wins over AFC South pushovers Tennessee and Houston (a combined 3-10), but it was an entirely different story for Miami when facing New England.

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  • The New England defense shut out the Dolphins in the first half of the game and after allowing a touchdown drive to start the third quarter shut them right back down. The New England offense was balanced as they ran and threw the ball without resistance from a Miami defense which had dominated in the previous two weeks.

    Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

    The Patriots ran their current dominance of the AFC East to an amazing 19 wins in their last 20 games at Gillette Stadium against a division rival. Their only loss at home to a division rival since Matt Cassel was the starting quarterback in 2008? It was that meaningless 2014 season finale where quarterback Tom Brady played just the first half and most of the other starters on offense and defense did not even play as the Patriots had wrapped up the top seed in the AFC.

    Let’s take one more look back at the game tape and inside the statistics and come up with five things we learned from the New England Patriots shellacking of Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night. Part three of the five-part series is a look at the New England defense and how the secondary has shut down opponents with a revamped secondary:

    Next: There’s No Such Thing as Too Many Safeties