, , , , , , , ,

The New England Patriots at 10-3 can capture the AFC East title with a win against Miami this Sunday. The Patriots lost to the Dolphins in week 1 in Miami, just like the muggy weather of early September played in favor of the Dolphins, the frigid weather in Foxboro will be to the Patriots advantage in mid December. Brady has a 4.6 TID down from the 5.2 he went in with against Detroit. The Patriots are on a roll and Tom Brady is 45-7 in the month of December. The Patriots have three wide receivers and a running back who have 300+ yards after the catch. Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell, and Shane Vereen combined have 1,343 yards after the catch that is a mere 104 yards less than the Miami Dolphins have as a team. Opposing quarterbacks have a 1.7 TID against the Patriots, so the Patriots defense is doing its job. The Patriots offensive line is giving up 1.23 sacks a game, which means Brady should have plenty of time to throw. The Patriots defense is averaging 2.5 sacks a game and 2.2 tackles for a loss per game.

The Miami Dolphins are 7-6 if they are going to keep their playoff hopes alive they need to win this game. Ryan Tannehill has a 2.6 TID, so Tannehill is getting the job done. The Dolphins problem is their yards after catch. The Dolphins have only one receiver over 300 yards and only two receivers with the more than 50 receptions. As a team the Dolphins are only averaging 4.7 yards after the catch, the Dolphin receivers don’t seem to be able to create enough room to run. The Dolphins are averaging 2.6 sacks a game and 2.4 tackles for a loss per game.

The key to this game is going to be the Dolphins secondary versus the Patriots receivers if the Dolphins can limit the yards after the catch by Patriots receivers, the Dolphins have a fighting chance to beat this Patriots team and keep their slim playoff hopes alive. The Dolphins tend to lose games played in cold weather and I just don’t see the Dolphins keeping the Patriots receivers in check. The Patriots are giving 7 1/2 point favorites, take the Patriots giving the points.

Final Score: New England Patriots 28 Miami Dolphins 20