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Week eight of the 2023 NFL Season is going to create serious effects in the race for the AFC and the NFC Playoffs. The race for the AFC East Divisional title is going to bring either more resolution or chaos as the New England Patriots (2-5) go on the road to take on the Miami Dolphins (5-2).
The Patriots lost their first two games of the season before winning a defensive battle with the New York Jets. They proceeded to win three consecutive games before shocking the Buffalo Bills last week.
The Miami Dolphins started with three explosive wins to start the season, including the 70-20 beatdown on the Denver Broncos. The Dolphins are 5-0 against teams under .500%, but 0-2 against teams over .500%.
The Dolphins beat the Patriots 24-17 in New England in week two of the season. This will be the last meeting between the divisional rivals of the regular season.
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The Dolphins’ offense is the top-ranked offense in the league as they can score in many different ways. Quarterback Tau Tagovailoa has thrown for 15 touchdowns in seven games this season as he looks to play a full season under an explosive style of play. The Patriots’’ defense while strong and at certain points has given up 18 touchdowns, with eight being passing plays. Tagovailoa has thrown for two or more touchdowns in four of the seven games played this season.
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One of the biggest reasons the Dolphins have one of the most explosive offices in the league is the explosive play-making skills of wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Through seven games this season Hill has accounted for 53 receptions for 902 yards and seven touchdowns. He is averaging 128.9 yards per game. In the previous matchup versus the Patriots, Hill had his least productive game by accounting for 5 receptions for four yards and a touchdown. He will attempt to make up for that game in a big way on Sunday, especially after coming from a loss on Sunday Night Football to the Philadelphia Eagles.
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New England's offense has been absolutely terrible this season as they only scored 11 touchdowns in seven games. Seven of those such chances have come from quarterback Mac Jones, a player that the Patriots are about to give up on. Regardless of their feelings for Jones and whether he will be their franchise quarterback or not, the Patriots have only accounted for four rushing touchdowns this season. They will need more impact from the running game in order to beat Miami but the defense of the Dolphins is not particularly great and will allow a chance for Jones to score a touchdown.
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Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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