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.
``I wouldn't say that it's advantageous, but I definitely feel like I can play in the snow,'' said rookie defensive end Chandler Jones. ``I like playing in the snow, to be honest with you. The cold weather doesn't affect me at all.''
The Patriots defense is well aware that the unpredictable climate could play a pivotal role in ball security. Members of the secondary are on high alert for turnovers.
Considering New England is second in the league with 39 takeaways, though, that's nothing new.
``I think you've got to have a heightened awareness when you get in these games because no matter how mentally strong guys are, it does change things - your hands get cold and different things like that,'' safety Devin McCourty said. ``Defensively, we definitely try to have more of an awareness to try to attack the ball.''
Just because the Dolphins typically play half of their games under the warm southern sun doesn't mean they're going to freeze at the first sight of snow.
In fact, another warm-weather team - the San Francisco 49ers - traveled to New England on a cold, rainy night two weeks ago and overpowered the Patriots, handing them their lone loss over their past nine games.
``They're a professional football team, they'll be ready to go,'' McCourty said. ``I don't think it's nothing new for them They've done it before, they did it last year, so I'm sure they'll be ready to go.''
And after already playing a pair of December games in Florida, the Patriots are embracing whatever weather rolls their way.
``We've had a very fortunate December around here. It's been good,'' Mayo said. ``Our other games we had were in Miami and in Jacksonville. The weather won't be a problem at all. We enjoy the rain.''
Mayo then shifted his focus to the true opponent.
``We're not playing the weather,'' he added, ``we're playing the Dolphins.''

Recent NFL Discussions

2017 Heisman Odds on Wed, Mar 2017 by Blade
College / NBA today on Sun, Mar 2017 by TtomBoBadly
SNOW on Tue, Mar 2017 by Michael Cash
EARLY COLL PLAYS FOR WED. on Wed, Mar 2017 by Timmy1961

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail The Next Atlanta Falcons Despite suffering one of the greatest collapses in sports history at Super Bowl LI, the Atlanta Falcons still managed to overcome significant odds to reach the NFL’s...
Thumbnail Eddie Lacy 2017 Prop Odds After signing with the Seahawks earlier this month, how many touchdowns and rushing yards will Eddie Lacy earn in 2017?
Thumbnail DeSean Jackson Bucs Prop Odds How many touchdowns will DeSean Jackson post with his new team in 2017? Here's a look at the odds.
Thumbnail Brandin Cooks Patriots Prop Odds How many total receiving yards will new Patriot Brandin Cooks have in 2017?
Thumbnail Alshon Jeffery TD Prop Odds How many touchdown passes and receiving yards will Alshon Jeffery rack up in 2017? Oddsmakers have released projections for the newest Eagle.

NFL Team Pages