Later today, the Patriots will take on their AFC East rivals, the Miami Dolphins. Interestingly enough, this game is only the second division game so far this year for the Pats. Tom Brady & Co. enter this game as 16-point favorites, as the Dolphins have faced a tough stretch recently.
Here are some things to look for during today’s game
1. This is the Patriots’ time to close out the division
At 8-2, the Pats currently have a 3 game lead in the AFC East. Today’s game starts an important 6 game stretch for the reigning champs, as 5 of their next 6 games come against division opponents. For sometime it appeared that the Buffalo Bills were legitimate contenders to dethrone the Pats, but several losses have them sitting at 5-5. Winning at least 3 or 4 of these games would give the Pats a great opportunity to win the division.
2. Can the Patriots take advantage of the ailing Dolphins?
4 straight losses has dropped Miami to 4-6, and their games have been plagued with problems on both sides of the ball. The Dolphins have been anemic on offense with Jay Cutler under center, but their backup Matt Moore hasn’t done much better. The Miami defense has also struggled recently, giving up an average of over 30 points over the last 4 games. On the flip side, both facets of the Patriots have been explosive, making this an easy matchup (on paper, of course).
Taking all factors into consideration, I expect the Patriots to pull out a win against the Dolphins. Look for TB12 and the offense to pick on the lowly Miami defense.
Prediction: Patriots 35, Dolphins 14