Not one that belongs to anybody who's gonna beat the Patriots, that's for sure.
Much like Jaime, I was not at full-blown cockiness heading in to this week's contest; in fact, I would estimate my confidence to have been higher before the game against an undefeated Dallas than before today's game against a winless Miami.
First there's the fact that the Dolphins abused the Patriots back in their heyday, which coincided with the dog days for the Patriots franchise. But even during the Patriots' dynasty era, there has been more than one game against Miami in Miami that I have totally blocked out of my memory almost immediately afterwards, because it didn't affect the Patriots overall asskickery and therefore wasn't worth the mental anguish.
This season, however, old frames of reference for the Patriots are going out the window one by one. This season is home to such paradigm shifts as not just beating Miami in Miami, but embarrassing them. At least, in the first half of the game.
I personally thought the most brutal single point of the game for the Dolphins was when Willie "Who?" Andrews (special teams coverage utilityman, drafted by the Pats in 2006) ran a kickoff that had been deliberately aimed away from Ellis Hobbs back for a touchdown. It was especially cruel since the kickoff was coming off Miami's first touchdown of the game, which brought the deficit to a single score and clearly had the Fish feeling pretty good about themselves. Hobbs caught up with Andrews toward the end of his run and they ran together into the end zone. That's about when I started to giggle with a mixture of glee and disbelief--and so did Dan Dierdorf.
I would also be remiss if I didn't mention the two touchdown catches by Randy Moss, both of which were technically impossible according to the laws of physics. Both catches also involved punking not one, but two Miami defensive backs. In fact, with the second one, the one that twisted Renaldo Hill's knee, he was being interfered with by two different Miami defenders, and still came down with the touchdown. (I believe that's when Dan Dierdorf's voice started skipping octaves. Not that I minded, but he was ball-washing the Patriots hugely today.)
You still have to give the Dolphins players credit. They kept grinding even when it would have been totally understandable for them to pack it in. And they exposed some holes in the Patriots defense that I'm sure will provide Bill Belichick plenty of humble pie fodder for the next week.
Which is why I can't blame him for getting a little testy in his press conference when he was asked ludicrous questions around this utterly asinine "running up the score" angle the national press has been going with the last few weeks. Apparently the Patriots are not supposed to be, you know, playing so hard. Apparently they're supposed to disregard decades of track record at this particular stadium against this particular team when that team brings the score back within two touchdowns. Apparently they're supposed to stop, you know, winning so much. (This is something akin to Wade Phillips' crackerjack strategy of calling out the best quarterback inthe league prior to the Dallas game: it would be laughable if it weren't so sadly stupid.)
It's all just haterism at this point, as far as I'm concerned. And I hope Big Bill just keeps on flipping 'em the bird.