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Patriots finally preparing for cold weather

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm •  Published: December 28, 2012
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Bill Belichick doesn't masquerade as a meteorologist.

However, the New England coach once again has his team acclimated for whatever inclement weather may swoop in Sunday for the season finale against Miami.

Rather than shifting practice indoors as they have before, the Patriots practiced outside Thursday despite cold, driving rain, and again Friday in chilly temperatures in anticipation of a winter storm expected to dump a few inches of snow late Saturday.

Temperatures are expected to hover in the mid-to-low 20s for kickoff Sunday afternoon.

"Whatever we get Sunday, we get. We're not trying to forecast it," Belichick said. "We'll just practice in whatever comes. I'm sure sooner or later we'll get something similar."

For the second straight year, though, the region has endured a tepid winter in the month of December, a far cry from some of the more memorable games played in the snow at Gillette Stadium.

And that might be just fine with the Dolphins (7-8). But some members of the Patriots (11-4) are welcoming this long overdue cold front.

"It doesn't bother us," linebacker Jerod Mayo said. "You don't see a lot of us out there in sleeves. When you see other teams coming from other places, they're kind of sleeved up a little bit."

Yet whether rain, snow or sunshine, Miami has had its share of difficulties traveling to Foxborough since quarterback Tom Brady took the reigns of New England's offense in 2001.

The Patriots are 9-2 at home against the Dolphins since then, and the two losses didn't occur on Brady's watch, either. Brady was already sidelined for the season when New England and backup quarterback Matt Cassel lost to Miami in September 2008, and the three-time Super Bowl MVP played just one quarter before resting for the playoffs in a 28-26 setback on New Year's Day in 2005.

It only gets worse for the Dolphins in the winter, too. Miami is 1-6 in Foxborough in either December or January over the past 11 seasons.

Call it a home-field advantage.

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