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The succession of breakdowns against New England resulted in the Dolphins‘ most lopsided defeat since 2007, when they went 1-15. They lost even though they outgained the Patriots by 135 yards, limited them to 146 yards passing and held Randy Moss without a catch.

The Dolphins have a bye this week, then resume a rugged stretch in the schedule. Their next six opponents are a combined 16-8.

Sparano said he expects the Dolphins to bounce back from the drubbing. Belichick does, too.

“Miami is a good team,” Belichick said. “I am sure we haven’t heard the last of them.”

But the Dolphins need to figure out quickly how to block for kicks and cover them better. That responsibility now rests with Rizzi, a former college head coach at New Haven who took his first NFL job when Sparano hired him last year.

“He’s very smart guy who has his own way of doing things,” Sparano said. “He’ll have his own spin on the special teams area. It’s important that we have some continuity there and fix the problems.”

The fix might mean more players in the offensive and defensive rotations contributing. Defensive regulars Dobbins, Cameron Wake and Chris Clemons already have roles on kicking units.

“I want my core players to play better on special teams,” Sparano said. “If we need to put some starters out there, then we will.”


AP Sports Writer Howard Ulman in Boston contributed to this report.