BOSTON (CBS) – The New England Patriots have a chance to clinch the AFC East and a playoff spot with a win in Miami, but will they pull it off.
The 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV Sports teams give their predictions to Sunday’s Patriots-Dolphins match-up:
Scott Zolak, 98.5 The Sports Hub
The Patriots should roll easily, again. They should hit the 40-point mark, again.
Miami was hot three weeks ago, and now they’re not. The big thing is it’s Ryan Tannehill. He’s played well, but he’s a rookie quarterback and not as good as the other two the Patriots played this season.
The Patriots will have to deal with the weather, but once they figure that out and get their feet under them I think they’ll take control of the football game.
I just think New England outclasses Miami as a coaching staff. Look for them to win big; it’s a big game. It’s a hat and t-shirt game, meaning they win this they clinch the division and a playoff spot.
There is no way they lose this game.
Patriots 41, Dolphins 17
Andy Gresh, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Ryan Tannehill is a guy that can move around and make some plays, but unlike when they faced the other rookie quarterbacks, this Patriots’ defense is better. They’re catching all the breaks and bounces right now.
Patriots 31, Dolphins 17
Walt Perkins, WBZ NewsRadio 1030
Many Patriots fans may be looking ahead to next Monday night’s match-up between the Patriots and Texans, followed up with a Sunday night encounter with the 49ers. But don’t discount the Dolphins in Miami.
Tom Brady is rather pedestrian in South Florida, going 5-5 lifetime if my math is correct (never a given, btw). (Editor’s note: It is correct!)
The Dolphins are coming off a dramatic fourth quarter win over the Seattle Seahawks, the last team to beat the Patriots this season. An easy Patriots win in Miami is as common as an honest politician, and Sunday should be no different.
New England has benefited greatly, lately, in forcing and converting turnovers. They will need that trend to continue to come away with their sixth straight win and another AFC East crown.
Patriots 39, Dolphins 23
Toucher & Rich: WQAM’s Greg Liken Gives A Miami Perspective
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV Sports
The one thing the Patriots can’t afford to do in their date with the Dolphins this weekend is look ahead to Houston and San Francisco.
Knowing Bill Belichick, he won’t let them. The Dolphins may be 5-6, but Tom Brady has yet to beat the Phins in Miami in December.
That should change come Sunday night.
The Patriots are not only rolling, they will be well rested after getting a few extra days off courtesy of a Thanksgiving night drubbing of the Jets.
What shouldn’t be overlooked this season is Brady’s performance. He’s thrown 24 touchdowns and just three interceptions. What’s great about Brady is the fire is always there, no matter who the opponent.
New England’s special teams have been extra special lately, with the Pats scoring three touchdowns on special teams. Not to mention, now this unit is looking to score week in and week out. They take pride in their work, and it’s been showing as of late.
Don’t look now, the defense is starting to rev things up too. Aqib Talib has been a nice addition, and the Patriots secondary is starting to play with swagger. Their stellar pass-rush helps that tremendously, and you can thank Vince Wilfork and his crew for that.
Look for Belichick to send all types of heat at rookie Quarterback Ryan Tannehill to try to confuse him, much like he did two weeks ago against Andrew Luck.
The Patriots won’t need any luck to beat the Dolphins, and should return home 9-3 with another AFC East crown.
Patriots 31, Dolphins 17
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports
The Patriots are rolling right now, winners of five straight .They’re winning the turnover battle by a plus-24 on the season, far and away an NFL-best. Tom Brady has been sacked just twice and hasn’t thrown a pick over their five-game win streak, and the New England special teams has scored touchdowns in each of the past two games.
Good things are happening for this Patriots team, and logic says they should go in to Miami on Sunday and have no problems dismantling the Dolphins.
However, you just don’t know from week to week in the NFL.
The Pats secondary faces another challenge in rookie quarterback Ryan Tennehill. He’s been inconsistent, but can do some damage. Reggie Bush is a solid weapon for Tannehill, and watch out for Charles Clay. He’s my X-factor as Tannehill seems to be getting comfortable with him.
But, I still think the Patriots win and clinch yet another AFC East title. But just don’t think it will be a blowout.
Patriots 31, Dolphins 21
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
For the Patriots, they could reach one of their goals with a win on Sunday. Beat the Dolphins and they clinch the AFC East and punch their ticket to the postseason.
The Dolphins have a couple of things going for them on Sunday though. Reggie Bush is a quality all-purpose back that can eat up a lot of yards in a hurry. He’s good in both the running and passing game. Devon Bess is a good slot receiver and he understands how to get open. Miami also has a good young quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, and their defense always seems to give Tom Brady problems here and there.
With all that said, the Patriots are rolling. They are playing the best stretch of football they have all season long, with the offense putting up points and the defense getting takeaways. The Pats have a plus-24 turnover ratio, and it seems like every game that number goes up.
Also, Wes Welker crushes his former team. He is approaching 1,000 receiving yards against the Dolphins, and is averaging 109 yards per game against Miami.
I believe the Pats win on Sunday and the ball keeps rolling.
Patriots 44, Dolphins 21
Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Dolphins game on WBZ-TV and 98.5 The Sports Hub! Pregame coverage begins on 98.5 with Patriots Preview at 10 am, with Patriots GameDay on WBZ-TV at 11:30 am. Kickoff is at 1 pm, and after the game tun in to 98.5 for three full hours of post game coverage, and Patriots 5th Quarter on myTV38!