The New England Patriots (6-0) take on the Miami Dolphins (3-3) tonight at Gillette Stadium. While the Patriots have been the most impressive team in football this year, the Dolphins are revamped and playing determined with new head coach Dan Campbell at the helm.
Campbell took over for Joe Philbin, and ever since taking over; Campbell has this team playing with determination. Campbell is 2-0 as head coach after taking the job following the team’s Week 5 bye. This Dolphins’ team may be the hottest team in football at the moment. Watching this team the past couple weeks, they look more like a 6-0 team than the 3-3 team that they are.
The Patriots continue to be dominant and proved to be too much for the New York Jets last week as Brady shredded the Jets defense in the fourth quarter. The Patriots are 9.5 point favorites in this game against Miami. This line is far from what I see this game being. I see this game being very close, and think it could go either team’s way.
The key to the Miami Dolphins offense is Lamar Miller, as he is averaging 144 yards rushing in his two games under the run favoring coach Campbell. Under Philbin, Miller was heavily underused. Miller has always shown flashes of being a top-notch running back in this league but has never been given a legitimate chance to prove so before Campbell took over.
The Patriots must stop Lamar Miller tonight and put the ball in Ryan Tannehill’s hands.
However, Tannehill has also been on fire himself recently. Tannehill went 18 for 19 for 282 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions last week against the Texans. However, Tannehill has proven throughout this season that he is prone to the turnover. With 13 touchdowns to 7 interceptions on the season, this game will come down to the Patriots winning the turnover battle.
On the other side of the ball, Campbell has his defense playing amazing. Campbell came under fire in the media for having his team partake in the Oklahoma Drill. The Oklahoma Drill was universally stopped by coaches throughout the league due to a vast amount of injuries that occurred during the drill including many concussions. However, the drill seems to have paid off for this Dolphins’ defense.
Ndamukong Suh had his first two sacks last week against Houston and Cameron Wake has six combined sacks in his last two games. Suh and Wake will be essential to this week’s game against the Patriots offensive line that has dealt with a multitude of injuries.
The Patriots must protect Brady against the very strong Miami pass rush in order to win this game. One guy to keep an eye on throughout the game is Brandon Lafell. Lafell struggled with drops in his first game back last week. Lafell was a key component to the Super Bowl team last season. Look for Brady and company to try to get Lafell back on track tonight against this Miami secondary.
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With Dion Lewis up in the air for tonight’s game, look for LeGarrette Blount to carry the load against Miami. Expect this to be a passing game for the Patriots in a high scoring affair with two offenses that are playing elite football right now.
While the Dolphins are peaking right now, the Patriots have the better quarterback by a wide margin in Tom Brady. Look for Brady to continue being too much to handle for opposing defenses as the Patriots edge Miami out in a closer game than many think. Pats win 34-30.