Saturday, October 26, 2013

Week 8 picks: Dolphins at Patriots

Publisher Nick St. Denis, associate editor Dan Begnoche and senior contributor Sean Donovan pick the AFC East bout between the New England Patriots (5-2) and the Miami Dolphins (3-3).

Sean's take:
The Dolphins desperately need a win, something that's recently been difficult to come across in Foxborough. The Patriots appear as vulnerable as they've been in quite some time, but they hold favorable matchups across the board on both sides of the ball. Critically, Miami fails in generating either a pass rush on defense or a running game on offense, and New England pulls away late to solidify its division lead.
Prediction: Patriots 30, Dolphins 17

Dan's take:
The Dolphins showed they can move the chains on the ground against a weaker run defense last week, which should continue this week against a banged up Pats squad ranked 31st against the run. The key here will be third quarter adjustments on the offensive side of the ball, with Miami averaging four times more points in the quarter this season than the Patriots.
Prediction: Dolphins 27, Patriots 23

Nick's take:
The Patriots haven't lost to the Dolphins in the last six tries. Make that seven. New England is coming off a painful loss to the Jets, and it's hard to imagine the Patriots will have their guard down enough to fall to a team that couldn't beat the Bills at home with a week's rest.
Prediction: Patriots 30, Dolphins 20