Game Start: 12/11/17 @ 8:30pm
Patriots Record: 10-2
Vegas Spread/OU: Patriots -11.5, Total 47.5
This is the second meeting in three weeks for these two teams. Last time out, the Patriots beat the Dolphins by 18 points in a 35-17 victory.
I expect this game to go no differently. There was really no point during that last meeting that indicated anything other than a Patriots’ win. This week is going to be much similar, but they will be playing in Miami, rather than New England.
I will say this, late-season games like this have tripped the Patriots up in the past. If the Patriots are not willing to play four full quarters, then Miami could strike. Assuming everything goes according to plan, and the Patriots treat this like any other game, there should be no issue with a Patriots victory.
My prediction: Patriots 28, Dolphins 17
3 Keys to a Patriots Win
In three career starts against the Patriots, Jay Cutler is winless at 0-3. He is going to be getting the start for Miami, whereas Moore filled in for him a few weeks ago. Jay Cutler has only scored 62 points in those three starts against New England, keeping an average of just over 10 points per game. If the Patriots can play him like they have in the past, the Dolphins have almost no chance of pulling this out.
Last time out, the Patriots had trouble holding off Miami’s defensive front. Hopefully that is not the case this time around. It is crucial for both this week, as well as future weeks, that Brady does not get banged around, knocked down, and/or sacked.
Full Four Quarters of Play and Stay Within the Week:
I mentioned it earlier, the Patriots need to take this game seriously. Luckily, they have the Steelers battling with them for the playoff spot, so I don’t believe they will head into Miami with any sort of taking it easy game plan.
What I mean by “stay within the week” is very simple. Play this game. Win this game. If the Patriots are thinking ahead to their incredibly meaningful game coming up against the Steelers, they may lose focus in this week. That can’t happen. Again, play this game. Win this game. Then you can move onto the Steelers.
-Evan Singleton is a Managing Editor and Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media.