Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 15 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.
Mike Reiss, ESPN:
Pick: Patriots 20, Dolphins 17
Bold prediction: A trick play, with Newton on the receiving end, will provide a spark, as the Patriots need to pull out all the stops with their season on the line. Even though playoff hopes are a long shot, the Patriots will go all out to win, and the offense will need to get creative at times to jump-start an attack that produced only three points in a Week 14 loss to the Rams.
Cameron Wolfe, ESPN
Pick: Dolphins 20, Patriots 16
The Patriots are the NFL's fifth-best rushing offense (147.5 yards per game), and they leaned on that rushing for 217 yards (quarterback Cam Newton had 75) when they beat the Dolphins 21-11 in the season opener. Miami's rushing defense (120.2 yards per game allowed, 22nd in the NFL) has improved some since then, but the Dolphins know the key to stopping the Patriots' offense starts with minimizing the running attack.
Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Patriots
Mina Kimes, ESPN: Dolphins
Dan Graziano, ESPN: Dolphins
Kevin Seifert, ESPN: Dolphins
Matt Bowen, ESPN: Dolphins
Mike Clay, ESPN: Dolphins
Jason Reid, ESPN: Dolphins
Damien Woody, ESPN: Dolphins
Laura Rutledge, ESPN: Dolphins
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com
Pick: Dolphins 27, Patriots 19
Miami has a significantly better defense than New England. Despite playing with a rookie quarterback, the Dolphins have a significantly better offense, too, especially now that it appears DeVante Parker, Jakeem Grant and their backfield will be ready for Sunday. The Dolphins probably need to win out, but they should feel good that the fine folks at Football Outsiders confirmed that 11 wins gets them to the playoffs in all of their simulations. The season-long underestimation of the Dolphins and overestimation of the Patriots should finally end here.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports:
Pick: Patriots 20, Dolphins 14
Bill Belichick has had great success against rookie passers and now will match up against Tua Tagovailoa for the first time. Miami is banged up in terms of skill players, which will make it even tougher. This will be a low-scoring game and I think the Patriots will find a way to win it on the road.
Dave Richard, CBS Sports: Dolphins
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Dolphins
John Breech, CBS Sports: Dolphins
Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Patriots
Jared Dubin, CBS Sports: Patriots
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 20, Dolphins 17
The Patriots rarely get a chance to play the role of spoiler. They hope to not make a habit of it.
Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Dolphins 24, Patriots 20
The Patriots are out of AFC East contention before the last week of the season for the first time since 2000, the year before Tom Brady became their starting quarterback. The Dolphins are just the better team now.
Paul Perillo, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 16, Dolphins 13
Patriots return the favor to Dolphins and put a bump in Miami's playoff path.
Mike Dussault, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 17, Dolphins 16
The Patriots defense bounces back against a depleted Dolphins attack, while their run game makes enough plays to give New England a last-second road win.
Erik Scalavino, Patriots.com:
Pick: Dolphins 27, Patriots 17
Even when roles are reversed and New England has a better record than Miami, it's often a challenge for the Patriots to get a win in South Florida. So, with this year's incarnation of the 'Fins vying for a playoff bid, and despite a hefty list of key players battling injuries this week, Miami should be a tough out for New England. The latest matchup between these AFC East foes could be a slog, but Brian Flores' squad might make enough plays to stay in postseason contention.
Megan O'Brien, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 17, Dolphins 14
The Dolphins are beat up. The Patriots make Tua play right handed and force mistakes. However, for the Patriots, the offense doesn't look much better. Patriots pull off a win