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Dolphins burned Patriots with Wildcat last season

With the Patriots coming off their bye weekend and preparing to face the Dolphins, one natural storyline to revisit is the impact of the Wildcat.

The Dolphins introduced the Wildcat to the NFL on their visit to Gillette Stadium last September. It was the catalyst for helping turn their season around after an 0-2 start.

The Dolphins ran the Wildcat six times against the Patriots in a 38-13 victory, with five rushes for 100 yards (3 touchdowns) and one 19-yard touchdown pass by Ronnie Brown.

In the second meeting between the teams -- a 48-28 Patriots win in Miami in November -- the Wildcat wasn't a huge factor (8 rushes, 25 yards, holding penalty).

"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," recalled former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, now serving as an analyst for NBC. "We didn't have our gap responsibilities and didn't handle the individual one-on-one with the cornerback out wide."

Harrison shared his thoughts on the Wildcat while assessing the crucial five-game stretch ahead for the Patriots for a piece on ESPNBoston.com. He doesn't see the Patriots having trouble with the Wildcat this Sunday.

"The Patriots are a lot better in the secondary, with the two Brandons back there," he said of 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."

As usual, Harrison is on the mark.

The Dolphins scored eight touchdowns on eight trips inside the red zone against the Patriots last season.