New England Patriots vs Miami Dolphins: Odds and Predictions (NFL Week 2)
John Breech of CBS Sports takes the over and predicts the score as Patriots 34, Dolphins 16. My prediction is: take the over; final score Patriots 41, Dolphins 10.
How to Watch
What: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
When: Sunday, September 15 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Where: Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL
How (TV): CBS
Latest Point Spread: Patriots -17.5, Dolphins +17.5
All eyes are on deck to watch this Week 2 AFC East matchup between the 1-0 New England Patriots and the 0-1 Miami Dolphins, and not necessarily just for the football, although the idea of seeing how badly the Pats will take apart a Phins team still reeling from the 59-10 whomping they got from the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1 is enticing in a football sort of way.
But in terms of simple drama, the king himself, wide receiver Antonio Brown, will be making his debut as a Patriots deep threat on Sunday and after all it took for him to finally get there (from sulk posting and skipping practice over Big Ben in Pittsburgh to dead feet, old helmets and calling ‘cracker’ in Oakland) the entire football world is curious as to exactly how this talented chaos magnet called “AB” will affect the most disciplined football franchise imaginable.
Let’s take a quick look at how these two teams are situated in Week 2.
Check out the Top 10 Best NFL Picks for Week 2
The 1-0-0 New England Patriots
There’s no other way to describe what the New England Patriots did to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1 except to say they thoroughly manhandled their AFC rival 33-3 and set the stage for their impressive sixth Super Bowl Championship follow-up season.
The current model of these Patriots may even be better than last season because even though they are short one important Gronk, they still possess a one-two punch in the backfield with running backs Sony Michel and James White and a one-two-three punch in their passing game with receivers Antonio Brown, Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman.
And with the obviously improved defense, the thought running through many a brain regarding New England’s Sunday matchup with the sufferable Miami Dolphins is, “Hoo boy, this thing ‘bout to get ugly,” but like an overturned RV on the opposite side of the road, this game’s a head-turner that is hard to resist.
Read more about the New England Patriots Postseason Odds.
The 0-1-0 Miami Dolphins
Well, the rumors that Miami Dolphins’ general manager Chris Grier was planning to phone it in for the 2019 season so the team would lose enough games to get the first overall pick next draft season appear to be true, at least that’s how it looked when the Baltimore Ravens were racing up and down the field with ease against them at home in Week 1.
You know things aren’t going well in Miami when late in the third quarter the backup quarterback Josh Rosen is brought in as the better option, but the cheers fizzled out quickly as Rosen only managed a 1-for-3 passing attack for five yards and an interception.
The Dolphins’ defensive line couldn’t get to the opposing quarterback (granted Lamar Jackson is fast and tricky) and the secondary couldn’t stop the Raven’s receivers, all while the offensive line was struggling to protect whatever man was under center, giving up 3 total sacks that Week 1 game.
Read more about the Miami Dolphins Postseason Odds.
What’s at Stake?
These two teams have met 107 total times (including 3 postseason games), with Miami winning 55 of those games and New England winning 52 games.
Believe it or not, the Dolphins have won two of the last three meetings with the Patriots, the last one being a last-second 34-33 win that included a walk-off winning touchdown by running back Kenyan Drake after multiple laterals, now dubbed the “Miami Miracle” forever.
If the Patriots win this matchup, they’ll be 2-0-0 and firmly in charge of the AFC East, as usual, and their job will be to methodically win games while staying healthy in preparation for their return to the Big Game in their quest for a seventh ring.
But if the Dolphins are victorious instead, then you’ll know that miracles are possible and suddenly the doubters have to face the fact that these 1-1-0 Miami Dolphins have the same record as the Patriots.
Questions to Answer
Who’s favored to win this Week 2 Patriots-Dolphins matchup?
Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?
Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?
We’re going to briefly compare the Patriots and the Dolphins next and attempt to answer those questions and more.
Offensive Stats Comparison
New England Patriots Overall Offense
- Ranked 5th overall in 2018
- Ranked 6th overall in 2019
New England’s passing attack should be even deadlier now that Brown is on board, although Josh “Flash” Gordon was beginning to adapt well to the deep threat role.
Slot receiver Julian Edelman, last Super Bowl’s MVP, is a defensive nightmare, with the speed and quickness to evade man-to-man coverage and the ability to find the open seams in zone coverage, plus the toughness to run (and hit) after the catch.
And all that talent is orchestrated by general manager/head coach Bill Belichick by way of GOAT quarterback Tom Brady, who is experienced enough to go through his progressions and find the open man (usually Edelman).
Belichick likes to have a two-headed attack out of the backfield, and Sony Michel and James White are the perfect combination.
Michel provides the patience and quickness while White supplies the hard-hitting approach, and together they must be seriously game-planned against by the opposition.
The Pats’ front line keeps the holes big for their running backs, their rushing attack ranked 5th overall in the league last week.
New England Offensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for week 2: offensive tackle Marcus Cannon (shoulder), running back Brandon Bolden (hamstring), wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) and tight ends Matt LaCosse (ankle) and Lance Kendricks (suspension)
Injury note: N/A
Miami Dolphins Overall Offense
- Ranked 31st overall in 2018
- Ranked 32nd overall in 2019
The root problem of the Miami Dolphins’ passing attack is that it has no definite leader under center right now.
Offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea better pick soon between Ryan “Fitzmagic” Fitzpatrick and the second-year Arizona Cardinals “reject” Josh Rosen, who has a chip on his shoulder the size of Fitzpatrick’s beard.
Receiver DeVante Parker has talented hands, as does second-year tight end Mike Gesicki, but in Week 1 they struggled to get the ball into the end zone.
Dolphins’ running back Kenyan Drake has talent (he performed a Miracle, didn’t he?), but it didn’t come across in Week 1 when he had just 4 touches for 12 yards and no touchdowns.
Kalen Ballage, his backup, had five carries but only netted -1 yards.
Fitzpatrick had an 8-yard run in Week 1, making him the second most productive Dolphin runner of the game.
Miami offensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for week 2: wide receiver Albert Wilson (calf)
Injury notes: N/A
>> OFFENSIVE ADVANTAGE: Not even close, the fine-tuned machine that is the New England Patriots’ offense has the full advantage here.
Defensive Stats Comparison
New England Patriots Overall Defense
- Ranked 12th overall in 2018
- Ranked 9th overall in 2019
The New England Patriots defense has a sack and an interception after one week and a 20th ranked pass coverage after allowing the Steelers to gain 276.0 yards through the air.
The Pats kept the Steelers’ number one receiver, Juju Smith-Schuster, to just 6-of-8 for 78 yards, his longest a 26-yarder.
The Patriots were fifth-best in the league last week against the run, keeping the Steelers to just 32 total yards on the ground.
New England held Pittsburgh to an average of just 2.5 yards per carry.
Patriots Defensive Players to Watch
Cornerback Jason McCourty is a standout in the Pats’ secondary, with 7 tackles last week and a sack.
The Patriots defense only had one sack in Week 1, and that was courtesy of defensive end Deatrich Wise.
Keep an eye on free safety Devin McCourty (cornerback Jason’s twin brother), he has New England’s only interception on top of 3 passes defended and 6 combined tackles.
Patriots Defensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for Week 2: safety Obi Melifonwu (ankle)
Injury Notes: N/A
Miami Dolphins Overall Defense
- Ranked 29th overall in 2018
- Ranked 32nd overall in 2019
The Dolphins allowed the Ravens to throw for 324 yards in the air and score 5 passing touchdowns and had zero interceptions.
The defensive line only had one sack in Week 1, the team allowed 59 points to be scored against them, most in the league.
The Dolphins were last in the league in run coverage after allowing the Ravens to run for 265 total yards.
Miami allowed Baltimore to average 5.8 yards per carry last week, ranked 27th in the NFL.
Dolphins Defensive Players to Watch
Keep an eye out for cornerback Eric Rowe, the man knows how to tackle, last week taking down 11 Baltimore Ravens during the Week 1 game.
Linebacker Sam Eguavoen and defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter (now on IR, see below) share the Dolphins’ only sack.
Outside linebacker Jerome Baker is worth watching – he already has 9 tackles from Week 1.
Dolphins Defensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for Week 2: linebacker Trent Harris (foot), safety Reshad Jones (ankle) and safety Bobby McCain (shoulder)
Injury Note: defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter (ankle) and linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel (foot) have been placed on injured reserve.
>> DEFENSIVE ADVANTAGE: New England and guru Belichick (he neutralizes your biggest strength) have the advantage once again.
Special Teams Stats Comparison
New England’s rookie punter, Jake Bailey, is in his first NFL season and last week he punted 3 times for a net average of 41.0 yards per punt, which was the 18th best in the league.
Miami’s punter, Matt Haack, is in his third NFL season, all with the Dolphins, and last week he punted 6 times for a net average of 48.8 yards per punt, which was the 2nd best in the league.
New England’s veteran placekicker, Stephen Gostkowski, is in his 14th NFL season, all with the Patriots.
Gostkowski was 4-of-4 in Week 1, his longest a 41-yarder and he missed zero extra point attempts (3/3).
Miami’s placekicker, Jason Sanders, is in his second NFL season, both with the Dolphins.
Sanders was 1-of-1 last week, his longest a 54-yarder, and he missed zero extra point attempts (1/1).
New England’s punt returner, wide receiver Gunner Olszewski, was ranked 2nd in average punt return yardage last week.
Olszewski returned 2 punts for 35 yards, averaging 17.5 yards per, his longest for 18 yards.
Miami’s punt returner, starting wide receiver Jakeem Grant, was ranked T-18th in average punt return yardage last week.
Grant returned 1 punt for 0 yards.
>> SPECIAL TEAM ADVANTAGE: New England, their veteran placekicker trumps all.
Final Game Analysis
Why Will the Patriots Win This Game?
From head to foot, bumper to bumper, offense to defense to special teams, the New England Patriots are arguably one of the top teams in the AFC right now, and the Miami Dolphins are the worst.
Good offense beats bad defense every day, and bad offense struggles against any defense, and that is exactly what will be happening on Sunday between these two teams.
The big hook of this game is getting to see exactly how (and how much) Belichick and Brady use Antonio Brown in their game plan, and how well AB can begin to keep quiet and do his job.
Why Will the Dolphins Win This Game?
There’s a reason they call it “Fitzmagic,” and it’s the same magic mojo that made two miracles happen down in Tampa Bay last season when Fitzpatrick led his Buccaneers to wins over the New Orleans Saints in Week 1 and the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2.
Who knows, maybe for the first time in their NFL career, Belichick and Brady underestimate their opponent and show up unprepared, and maybe the Dolphins get to take advantage of that.
The Dolphins won’t win this game, but the Patriots could somehow lose it, and regardless Miami will get the credit in their ‘w’ column, but I wouldn’t count (or bet) on it.
>> THIS GAME GOES TO THE: New England Patriots – even with the 17.5 points the Dolphins are being given, this thing is going to be a one-sided display of excellence.
Current Odds for Week 2: Patriots vs Dolphins
John Breech of CBS Sports takes the over and predicts the score as Patriots 34, Dolphins 16.
My prediction is: take the over; final score Patriots 41, Dolphins 10.
Check out the latest odds for the Patriots vs Dolphins below. Good Luck!
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|Fox Bet NJ||-118||+100|