Week 14’s final game is a Monday Night Football contest between two AFC East foes as the New England Patriots head down to Florida to take on the Miami Dolphins. These two teams just played each other a few weeks ago and the Patriots came away with a big win. This week, the Dolphins will try to get some payback, while the Patriots will look to lock up the AFC East division and stay tied with the Steelers on top of the AFC Conference. Kickoff inside the Hard Rock Stadium is at 8:30 PM ET.
The Patriots defeated Miami 35-17 in Week 12 up in Foxboro. They look to sweep the Dolphins for the first time in over 5 seasons. Over the last 10 games, the Patriots have posted a 7-3 record against Miami and come into this week’s matchup on a 3 game winning streak over the Dolphins.
New England (10-2) is a perfect 6-0 on the road this season and has, once again, positioned themselves as one of the best teams in the league. The Patriots are on an eight game winning streak and look unbeatable. They just put down another AFC East foe last weekend as they crushed the Bills 23-3 on the road. New England looks to keep that winning streak going and eliminate the Dolphins from any playoff hopes.
Miami (5-7) is 3-3 at home and comes into this matchup on a bit of a high as they destroyed the Broncos 35-9 last weekend. The Dolphins have revenge on their minds this week as they look to payback the Patriots for that ugly loss two weeks ago. They might have a better chance this week as Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will be suspended. But, is that enough for Miami to push the Patriots this MNF game?
The spread opened with the Patriots favored by 12 points. It has since come down a point to 11. The Over/Under opened at 48.5 points and has come down to 47.5 total points.
For most teams, when they lose a star player, they tend to struggle or suffer from the loss. Not the Patriots. They take it as a personal attack and rise above it. This week, star tight end Rob Gronkowski is suspended for the biggest cheap shot of the season on Bills corner Tre’Davious White.
In 2017, Gronk has 849 yards and 5 TD catches. Another top target for Brady is receiver Chris Hogan and he’s expected to miss this weekend due to a shoulder injury. With these key absences, I’m willing to bet that the Patriots will still win by 2 touchdowns.
All the Patriots need is Tom Brady and 10 other guys on offense. And, they will still win most of their games. At age 40, Brady is tearing it up this season with 3,632 yards, 26 TDs and 4 interceptions. He’s in the running for MVP this year and he’s leading the Patriots to another run at the Super Bowl. Even without top receivers and tight ends, Brady finds a way to get things done. He uses his running backs out of the backfield and in the running game to perfection. On the season, White, Lewis and Burkhead have a total of 90 receptions so far. The Patriots offense is averaging 29 ppg.
On the other side of the field is a 5-7 team with very little offense. They average 17.4 ppg and can only muster up 84.7 ypg on the ground. It’s a terrible running attack that severely limits their offense. Additionally, the erratic Jay Cutler is good for a few turnovers per game and he will definitely throw one or two picks to the Patriots this week.
The Patriots defense is now allowing just 18.6 ppg on the season, but even less over their last 5 games. They’ve turned it around on the defensive side of the ball and have basically balanced out the high powered offense. It’s only made this team that much better.
Even without two receiving threats, I believe the Patriots are just too good to lose to the Dolphins. They might not hit 35 points this week, like in Week 12, but the Dolphins offense won’t score much on the Patriots defense and that will allow the New England offense to run the ball all over a Dolphins defense that allows 116.5 ypg on the ground.
Look for the Patriots running backs to lead this offense to 30 points and a big win. Miami is 1-7 in their last 8 MNF games and they will lose this one as well. The Dolphins will play hard for the first half, but nobody makes better second half adjustments than the Patriots. Just ask the Bills who were down 9-3 at halftime before losing the game 23-3. New England will win this game 30-16 and eliminate Miami from any playoff chances.
New England is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games, 8-1 ATS in their last 9 road games and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games against Miami. The Dolphins are 1-4-2 ATS in their last 7 games, 2-3-2 ATS in their last 7 home games, and 4-9 ATS in their last 13 divisional games.