The Dolphins will be wrapping up their 2020 home schedule Sunday, and maybe it shouldn't be surprising it will be with a game against the New England Patriots.
This will mark the 10th time in the 17 seasons (starting with 2004) that the Dolphins face New England in Miami in December (or January in those seasons that extend beyond the calendar year).
By comparison, the Dolphins have faced their other two AFC East opponents, the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets, six times each at home in December/January.
The Dolphins, for example, haven't faced the Jets at home in the final month of the season since 2014 when they closed out the regular season with a 37-24 loss in that game where quarterback Geno Smith had a perfect passer rating for New York — though Lamar Miller did have a team-record 97-yard touchdown run for Miami.
The good news when it comes to facing New England at home late in the season is the Dolphins have had a lot of success, a rarity for any team against the Patriots over the past two decades.
Starting with that 2004 game, the Dolphins are 7-2 at home in December/January against New England.
And the seven victories have had their share of memorable moments.
2018 — Dolphins 34, Patriots 33: Hmm, wonder what happened in that one? Yep, the "Miracle in Miami," the famous Tannehill-to-Stills-to-Parker-to-Drake magic trick that produced a 69-yard touchdown on the last play of the game.
2017 — Dolphins 27, Patriots 20: Who can forget Jakeem Grant jumping over cornerback Malcolm Butler in the corner of the end zone to catch a touchdown pass from Jay Cutler or Xavien Howard picking off Tom Brady twice.
2015 — Dolphins 20, Patriots 10: Like the game last season at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots had a lot at stake in this season finale, namely the top seed in the AFC. But the Dolphins dominated the game, with DeVante Parker having the first 100-yard receiving game of his career. The loss dropped the Pats to the No. 2 seed and they lost the AFC Championship Game when they traveled to Denver.
2013 — Dolphins 24, Patriots 20: Safety Michael Thomas became an instant cult hero in Miami when he secured the victory by intercepting Tom Brady in the end zone on a fourth-and-5 from the Miami 14, five days after he was signed off the San Francisco 49ers practice squad. The game-winning touchdown came on a pass from Ryan Tannehill to Marcus Thigpen.
2009 — Dolphins 22, Patriots 21: After the Dolphins rallied from a 21-10 third-quarter deficit to take the lead on a Dan Carpenter field goal with 1:07 left, linebacker Channing Crowder clinched the victory with an interception at the New England 40 with 35 seconds left.
2006 — Dolphins 21, Patriots 0: This gem by Nick Saban's defense marked the second and last time Tom Brady was on the wrong end of a shutout. The Dolphins defense sacked him four times (adding a fifth against Matt Cassel) and held him to only 78 yards on 12-of-25 passing.
2004 — Dolphins 29, Patriots 28: This is probably the biggest upset victory in franchise history. The Dolphins were 2-11 heading into the Monday night game, while the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots were 12-1 and on their way to a second consecutive title. The Dolphins trailed 28-17 before they scored with 2:03 left. They then picked off Brady on third down, took the lead on a 21-yard touchdown pass from A.J. Feeley to Derrius Thompson on a fourth-and-10, and clinched the victory when safety Arturo Freeman intercepted Brady with 58 seconds left.