[Miami at New England, 1 p.m.]


"We're the laughingstock of the town and the league. I want to stay in my house hiding all day. It's beyond frustrating. It's embarrassing."

-- Miami cornerback Patrick Surtain, after last week's loss to the Jets dropped the Dolphins to 0-4.

It is often said that the great teams are great partly because they get all the breaks. This could be said of the Patriots, who have had a number of bounces go their way over their 18-game winning streak.

Take the first game of the streak, a 38-30 win over Tennessee on Oct. 5, 2003. The Titans came into the game third in the league in rushing defense at 63.3 yards per game but missed a bunch of tackles and gave up 161 yards, the Patriots' highest output of the year. New England finished 27th in the league in rushing last season at 100.4 yards per game.

Or what about the Patriots' 19-13 overtime win over Miami on Oct. 19? The Dolphins' Olindo Mare, at the time the second-most accurate kicker in league history, missed a 35-yarder in overtime that would have won the game. Or New England's 23-20 overtime win over the Texans on Nov. 23, when the Patriots scored only once on six trips inside the Houston 20. Or the next week against the Colts, when New England almost gave up a 21-point second-half lead and needed three stops of Edgerrin James from the New England 1 to seal the win.

Over a stretch of six games last season ending with the Indianapolis game, four were decided in the last minute or in overtime.