Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 14 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.
Mike Reiss, ESPN:
Pick: Patriots 31, Dolphins 17
Tom Brady is 2-6 against the Dolphins in December and January regular-season games, and one of the notable themes around the team this week has been how players are tired of coming back from late-season trips to Miami with a losing feeling. Here's one major reason this year has a chance to be different: Dolphins CB Xavien Howard, arguably the team's best defensive player, might not play (knee). And if Howard does play, it's hard to imagine he'll be 100 percent. That's a huge development that favors the Patriots, who can clinch the division title with a win.
Cameron Wolfe, ESPN
Pick: Patriots 38, Dolphins 13
It's expected to be in the low 80s with plenty of humidity in Miami for Sunday's game. Multiple Patriots, including Brady, have noted how the heat and humidity have played a factor in their recent struggles (1-4) in South Florida vs. the Dolphins. But this Dolphins team is banged up, has struggled to consistently move the ball on offense and is expected to be without Howard. The Patriots are likely tired of hearing about their struggles in Miami.
Mike Golic, ESPN: Patriots
Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Patriots
Mina Kimes, ESPN: Patriots
Trey Wingo, ESPN: Patriots
Molly Qerim, ESPN: Dolphins
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports:
Pick: Patriots 27, Dolphins 23
Tom Brady is 7-9 against the Dolphins in Miami, which means Miami has a chance. Their season is on the line here. A win could put them into the playoffs. But the Patriots are the better team. Brady will win this with a late drive for a touchdown.
Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports: Patriots
Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Dolphins
Dave Richard, CBS Sports: Patriots
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Dolphins
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com:
Pick: Patriots 27, Dolphins 20
They might be NFL royalty, but the Patriots have royally sucked in Miami during the Bill Belichick era. They have managed just an 8-10 record in Miami during his reign, which includes dropping four of the last five there. Key to the Dolphins' fortunes this week: A) If they can stop the four New England running backs from consistently putting Tom Brady in second-and-manageable situations; and B) converting third downs on offense. The latter's been an issue all year, and it hasn't improved with Ryan Tannehill under center the last two weeks, as Miami's gone 6-for-20 on pro football's most important down. Still waiting on the Brady-Josh Gordon connection to take off. Gordon has caught 34 balls for 605 yards in nine games with New England -- a rate of production that would produce 1,076 yards over a full 16-game slate -- but it's still far from the dominant WR1 status that we know (think?) he is capable of attaining. Maybe this is the week, against this Miami secondary.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 24, Dolphins 16
The Dolphins have had New England’s number when playing in Miami in recent years, and the Patriots finally are paying attention.
Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 21, Dolphins 20
Tom Brady hasn’t played well in Miami through the years, but the Patriots should pull out a close one on Sunday.
Paul Perillo, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 27, Dolphins 16
Dolphins injuries help Patriots overcome Miami demons.
Andy Hart, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 27, Dolphins 10
Erik Scalavino, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 30, Dolphins 17
I’ve had the sense all week that these Patriots are tired of hearing about all their disappointments in Miami over the years. They’re as healthy as they’ve been all season and playing complementary football at the right time, with an opportunity to capture yet another AFC East title with a win over Miami. They’ll get it in convincing fashion.
Don Banks, Patriots.com NFL Columnist:
The Dolphins almost always play the Patriots tough in South Florida, where they have beaten Tom Brady nine times in 16 tries, which makes them wildly successful by No. 12’s lofty standards. But this is an injury-decimated Miami offense, and if Adam Gase’s club doesn’t have No. 1 cornerback Xavien Howard due to injury, it’s hard to visualize this game staying close for four quarters. Get those hats and T-shirts ready to hand out, because New England is about to clinch its 10th consecutive AFC East title.