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Patriots have had time to think about Wildcat

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Good news for the Miami Dolphins is they remained undefeated in the AFC East with Sunday's improbable victory over the New York Jets.

Bad news for the Dolphins is the New England Patriots started preparing for them a week ago. They will meet for the first time this season Sunday in Gillette Stadium.

The division-leading Patriots are coming off their bye. Under Bill Belichick, they are 7-2 in their first games after a weekend off.

Belichick has had bonus time to prepare for Miami's diverse offense. The extra practice sessions should help New England find enough time to work on strategies to stop the Wildcat while not totally diverting attention from the usual stuff.

The Dolphins unveiled the Wildcat in devastating fashion against the Patriots in Week 3 last year. Ronnie Brown ran amok. But the Patriots adjusted for the rematch and dominated the Dolphins in South Florida.

"There’s a lot of things that we’ll see in the game Sunday that we really can’t prepare for, because they haven’t shown them yet exactly the way they’re going to do them," Belichick said Monday on a conference call. "There will be something different and creative this week that will be different from the other games that we've seen them play. They kind of keep the wheels spinning that way."

Ricky Williams has become a much bigger contributor in the Wildcat this year, but the loss of utility back Patrick Cobbs to a season-ending knee injury three weeks ago seems to have taken a little zip out of the package.

Former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison told ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss he thinks the Patriots will handle the Wildcat on Sunday.

"We weren't prepared for it the first time, and when you're not prepared for something, you tend to play on your heels and start playing soft," Harrison told Reiss. "We didn't have our gap responsibilities and didn't handle the individual one-on-one with the cornerback out wide."

"The Patriots are a lot better in the secondary, with the two Brandons back there [Brandon Meriweather and Brandon McGowan]. They'll still have to prepare for it, and that's a headache because it takes time away from other valuable elements, like the red zone."

But with an extra week, I have a feeling Belichick has found the time.