- Where: Gillette Stadium – Foxborough, MA
- When: Sun September 30th, 2018 @1:00 PM ET
- Point Spread: New England -7
- TV: CBS
Miami heads to New England with a 3-0 record and a two game lead atop the AFC East division. The Patriots on the other hand have not looked like the dominant team of the past 12-15 seasons. New England with a 2 game losing streak in which both losses were not even close, seem to be having issues and give reasons for hope that the Dolphins can go into Fox borough and get a win. On the other hand this is a division game and there is no better time than now for the possibly desperate Pats to bring their A game. I want a Dolphin win but don’t expect one.
The Dolphins have truly been the upstart team of the first quarter of the 2018 NFL season as many had them a bottom dweller in their pre season predictions. Some even predicting a 2 win season for our Dolphins! Needless to say many of those folks are now shuffling their words and have to rethink their view of the Dolphins.
Even at 3-0 Miami still need to improve their play as they have left far too many opportunities on the field and have not started games off very well in fact they are struggling mightily starting games and it’s just a matter of time before it catches up with them.
Ryan Tannehill is 10-1 in his last 11 starts as Miami’s QB and much credit goes to Adam Gase for his development and building confidence in Ryan but Ryan ‘s play needs to be better as his numbers are pedestrian at best and somewhat padded by some very exciting and innovative play calling.
This is a statement game for both teams as Miami with a win would take a 3 game lead against the Patriots and open the eyes of many doubters while the Patriots need to get on track fast because even though they have had slow starts before only to make it to the Super Bowl, letting the Dolphins get a win today would build the confidence of Miami and might just be hard to overcome that 3 game lead.
On to the matchups:
The matchup: on Offense
Miami enters the game in first place in the AFC East 3-0, averaging 25 points per game which puts them 11th place, Miami rank 19th in passing (676 passing yards) averaging 225.3 yards passing per game, Miami ranks 16th in rushing with 296 total yards rushing averaging 98.3 rushing yards per game at 4.0 yards per carry.
The Patriots enters the game in a 3 way tie for 2nd place in the AFC East 1-2, averaging 19 points per game which puts them in a two-way tie 24th place in the NFL so far this year, they are ranked 26th in passing with (607 yards passing) averaging 202.3 yards passing per game, they are 20th in rushing with 293 total yards rushing averaging 97.7 rushing yards per game at 4.0 yards per carry.
The matchup: on Defense
Miami enters the game 6th in points given up per game with an average of 17.3 PPG, they rank 29th against the pass giving up on average 288.3 YPPG, they rank 7th in the league against the run giving up 89 yards per game and they are ranked 20th in total yards given up on average per game of 377.3 yards per game.
The Patriots enters the game 19th in points given up per game with an average of 25.7 PPG, they rank 21st against the pass giving up on average 263 YPPG, they rank 31th in the league against the run giving up 143.3 yards per game and they are ranked 28th in total yards given up per game with an average of 406.3 yards per game.
For The Dolphins:
The Dolphins had a hard time last week rushing against one of the worst run defenses in the league and if they can’t fix that against the Patriots game over! Miami needs to run early and often and well because the key to beating New England is to keep their best weapon (Tom Brady) on the bench and controlling the clock and rushing the ball well is the way you do that. Miami also needs to take advantage of their best weapons on offense the speedy WR’s and Kenyon Drake needs to get more touches in space.
If Miami can have a balanced ball controlled game they should be in the game in the 4th quarter and just might come out with a win. Even in a loss if they have a very close game it is almost as good as a win if they lose a hard-fought game.
A Blowout on the other hand would be a major setback and could send this team reeling.
For The Patriots:
New England is in trouble as they are not looking good and despite their history of a slow start and coming back this team seems different and so they ARE beatable! They need to get their G.O.A.T.S on track as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are seemingly going through some issues and it maybe have caught up to them.
If Brady have a great day passing and they run the ball well they will win the game. Their defense is just not able to stop the run and if Miami gets their running game going it will be a long day in New England with a great possibility of a loss and when is the last time New England lost 3 games in a row? I do not think it has happened in the Belichick and Brady Era…
Homers Pick: New England 27 Miami 24
Hope I’m wrong!