Patriots' Bill Belichick has 'a lot of respect' for the Dolphins

The defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots are off to a 6-0 start and are arguably the best team in the NFL. However, that hasn’t stopped future Hall of Fame head coach Bill Belichick from taking notice of what is happening with his division rival in South Florida.

Under interim head coach Dan Campbell, the Miami Dolphins (3-3) have won two straight games against the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans by an astounding margin of 82-36. That includes a 58-3 advantage in the first half.

The Dolphins, as a result, will enter Gillette Stadium as one of the NFL's hottest teams when they face the Patriots on Thursday night. Belichick said Miami presents a lot of issues.

“The Dolphins have played great the last two weeks in all areas of the game,” Belichick said on Monday’s conference call. “A lot of credit goes to Coach Campbell, but a lot of credit goes to the entire Dolphins team and organization. They have a lot of great players. They obviously are well coached.

“I have a lot of respect for the Dolphins. We have trouble with them pretty much every time we play them. So we know how good they are.”

The Patriots are running away with the AFC East yet again. They already have division wins against the Buffalo Bills (3-4) and New York Jets (4-2). In contrast, Miami is 0-2 in the AFC East and desperately need a win in the division.

An upset win over the Patriots would be significant for Miami and Campbell, who will coach in just his third game Thursday. Belichick said the Dolphins deserve their recent accolades.

“I think Miami is a very talented team,” Belichick said. “They play hard. They’re tough. They do a lot of things well. That’s why they are winning and winning big. They deserve it because they’re good. No other reason.”