Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 18 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.
Mike Reiss, ESPN:
Pick: Patriots 23, Dolphins 16
Bold prediction: Patriots rookie defensive tackle Christian Barmore is finally going to do something he always wanted to in college at Alabama but never could: sack Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, his former college teammate. The Patriots second-round pick has been creating disruption as an interior pass-rusher and has grown considerably from the season opener against Miami when he played 26 snaps and registered just one assisted tackle. Barmore's interior pressure will be critical in the Patriots' potential push in the playoffs.
Marcel Louis-Jacques, ESPN
Pick: Patriots 24, Dolphins 13
What to watch for: Miami and New England are the top two defenses in the NFL over the past two months in terms of expected points added, yards allowed per game, points allowed per game and third-down percentage. The one area where Miami has its opponent this week beaten by a wide margin is sacks per dropback, though. The Dolphins (11.2%) rank first, while the Patriots (6.4%) rank 13th.
Emmanuel Acho, ESPN: Patriots
Matt Bowen, ESPN: Patriots
Mike Clay, ESPN: Patriots
Jeremy Fowler: Patriots
Dominique Foxworth, ESPN: Patriots
Dan Graziano, ESPN: Dolphins
Rob Ninkovich, ESPN: Dolphins
Laura Rutledge, ESPN: Patriots
Kevin Seifert, ESPN: Patriots
Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Patriots
Damien Woody, ESPN: Patriots
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com
Pick: Patriots 28, Dolphins 20
It's not that I don't believe in what the Dolphins accomplished during their winning streak. Tua Tagovailoa will play better in better conditions this week, and the Miami defense won't give up much through the air. It's just that the Patriots' ceiling is so much higher offensively. They can run on the Dolphins and are more likely to win the turnover margin, like they have all year.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports:
Pick: Patriots 27, Dolphins 14
The Patriots are playing for a potential division title, while the Dolphins are done. Miami is coming off a terrible offensive showing last week and it won't get any better here. New England will limit them again and score enough to avenge its Week 1 loss.
Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports: Patriots
John Breech, CBS Sports: Patriots
Dave Richard, CBS Sports: Patriots
Jamey Eisenberg, CBS Sports: Patriots
Jared Dubin, CBS Sports: Patriots
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Patriots
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 27, Dolphins 17
The Patriots have had issues in Miami, but New England needs to win and the Dolphins are headed to another non-playoff season after winning seven in a row.
Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 30, Dolphins 13
The Dolphins laid an egg in a big moment last week in their loss to the Titans, and now that they're out of it I think they'll fold up and lose big again.
Paul Perillo, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 26, Dolphins 13
Patriots keep momentum building into playoffs with season-ending win in Miami.
Mike Dussault, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 24, Dolphins 14
The Patriots get a regular-season-ending win that bookends nicely with the loss to Miami in Week 1. The Dolphins should play hard out of the gate but the Patriots effective rushing attack should be the difference as New England pulls away late.
Erik Scalavino, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 28, Dolphins 17
It's difficult to gauge just how much a team that' already clinched a playoff spot and one that's already been eliminated will be motivated to play their best players. However, there's always a good amount of pride on display when the Patriots take on former players and coaches, and the 'Phins have plenty of those, which helps keep this game competitive for most of the way.