By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Dolphins beat the Patriots in Miami, which frankly isn’t a rare occurrence from the past 20 years. Miami has always been a difficult team for Bill Belichick’s team to accumulate wins, even during some of their most potent dynastic years.
What’s different this time, of course, is the stark contrast in where each team is heading after this clash. The Dolphins improved to 9-5, hanging on to a playoff spot in the AFC. The Patriots, meanwhile, are 6-8, set to play out the string before sitting as spectators in January for the first time since 2008.
One player who seems to be truly delighting in that development is Kyle Van Noy. The Miami linebacker signed with the Dolphins as a free agent last spring, after winning a pair of Super Bowls with the Patriots after Belichick acquired him during the 2016 season. Yet for as fond as those memories may be, the more recent memory of Cam Newton and the Patriots celebrating their Week 1 victory over Miami with slightly too much exuberant joy.
As a result, Van Noy has been counting down the days for the rematch. And after the Dolphins won, he was more than happy to let the world know.
“I’m going to keep it real. They thought everything was good … if that makes sense. They were all laughing and joking. We remembered that,” Van Noy told Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer regarding that Week 1 meeting. “We’re in a different situation than they were. They were basically already eliminated. We just needed to basically finish it, and we did that today.”
Van Noy added: “I think the honeymoon’s over. We got the job done.”
Breer asked Van Noy for clarity on the Dolphins’ displeasure with the Patriots after that Week 1 win, and the linebacker said, “I think it’s been 99 days,” indicating he’s had this one circled on the calendar since early September.
Van Noy’s “honeymoon” comment likely refers to Newton, who was a dynamic dual-threat quarterback to start the year but has since come crashing back to earth. Newton and the Patriots ran for 217 yards and three touchdowns against Miami in Week 1 and looked to be starting something special. But they’re now 6-8, and they were held to just 117 yards on the ground Sunday.
After that game, a group of Dolphins defenders approached Newton, with Christian Wilkins making a grab at Newton’s neck area.
Clearly, Van Noy and his fellow Dolphins don’t particularly care for Newton. And so Sunday’s victory was a little sweeter.