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Dolphins vs. Patriots, 8:20 ET
Football can be wild at times and it is one of the sports that year-to-year can bring an extreme difference for each team. Tonight, for Sunday Night Football, we get two different franchises – one that once experienced perfection, and one that has been the model of stability for most of the past 20 years. This should be a fun matchup between the Dolphins and Patriots.
The Dolphins are predicated on their explosive offense with a lot of talent on their roster. If they stay healthy they will have one of the best teams in the NFL – at least on the offensive side of the ball. In Week 1, they showed just how great their team can be. Tyreek Hill was an absolute monster as he hauled in 11 catches for 215 yards and two touchdowns. You have to imagine the Patriots defense will do a better job of at least containing him. He’s so fast you can assume he will break away for at least one big gain a game, but you also know the game plan will be to eliminate him altogether. The Dolphins somewhat abandoned the run game as they were in a shootout with the Chargers. Tua Tagovailoa was able to complete 28 passes and seven different receivers had at least two receptions. The bigger question here is how will the defense perform against a weaker offense. We know that Justin Herbert can sling the rock, but Mac Jones doesn’t really have the same weapons. Will the Dolphins linebackers be able to prevent some of the mid-field passes that the Patriots are going to attack with in their two tight end approach?
I almost thought the Patriots were going to pull off the upset. In Week 1 they played very well against the Eagles. Still, the offense looks stagnant and disconnected at times. Mac Jones isn’t a bad quarterback, but he also isn’t exactly mobile so if the rush can get to him, the play is pretty much done. The wide receiver core is probably the best he has ever had so if DeVante Parker plays I’d be interested to see if he can make a strong impact against his old team. I have to imagine that the defense is going to have a plan for some of the Dolphins weapons, but they don’t have as long to prepare as they did against the Eagles. The Patriots might not be able to contain the Dolphins, but I think they can potentially slow them down. The bigger question is how will the Patriots attack Miami on offense. Jones has two tight ends that he is likely to target consistently. No one on the Dolphins defense makes me think that the Patriots are going to completely struggle. I also don’t think that Bill Belichick will abandon the run game so there should be some balance.
This will be an interesting game. The Pats defense is consistent, but it is still exploitable at this point. The Dolphins offense is dynamic and explosive, but their defense is basically Swiss cheese. I would expect this to be a pretty entertaining and high scoring game. I’m not too excited about the travel that Miami has had to do in order to open their season, but I think they cover this game on the road. I’ll back the Dolphins -3.
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