Sunday, December 2, 2012

Week 13 AFC East game picks: Patriots at Dolphins

Lead writer Nick St. Denis and AFC East Daily contributors Dan Begnoche and Sean Donovan pick the New England Patriots' divisional battle with the Miami Dolphins.

Nick's take:
The Patriots are pretty much unstoppable at this point, having scored 190 points combined in the last four games. And it's not just the offense. New England's defense and special teams have played a major role in the scoring category, finding the end zone five times in the last two games. The Patriots lead the NFL in turnover differential at plus-24, and that edge shows against Ryan Tannehill's offense.
Prediction: Patriots 38, Dolphins 10

Sean's take:
During their current five-game winning streak, the Patriots have averaged a ridiculous 43.8 points per game, with three wins by a margin of 30 or more points. It's that torrid pace that the young and inconsistent Dolphins hope to slow down, all while facing a defense that has generated the second-most takeaways in the NFL. Another routine AFC East drubbing by the Patriots.
Prediction: Patriots 41, Dolphins 13

Dan's take:
It's hard to see the Miami making a game of this one, particularly with another division title on the line for the Patriots. Despite Miami's exciting win last weekend against Seattle and the recent improvement of its running game, the league's No. 1 offense will be too much to handle here. A loss here by the Dolphins makes five straight against New England and keeps the divisional juggernaut undefeated in the AFC East this season.
Prediction: Patriots 42, Dolphins 17