BOSTON (CBS) – The WBZ-TV, 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ NewsRadio 1030 sports teams make their predictions for the Patriots’ Week 14 matchup with the Miami Dolphins.
Scott Zolak, 98.5 The Sports Hub
For the Patriots it’s life without Gronk as we did know it, and as we’ll have to know it again. But the slate is clean and they’ll surprise you with some things on Sunday afternoon.
The Dolphins will be able to put up some points, but the Patriots win by a touchdown.
Patriots 31, Dolphins 24
Andy Gresh, 98.5 The Sports Hub
The Patriots should play better in the first half, and Miami just doesn’t have it on all three phases of the game.
Pats win comfortably by a touchdown, which is comfortable for them.
Patriots 28, Dolphins 21
Walt Perkins, WBZ NewsRadio 1030
After the last three weeks, how on earth can you bet against Tom Brady?
Patriots 23, Dolphins 17 (in overtime)
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV Sports
First off, thank you San Diego. By beating the Broncos Thursday night, you just did the Patriots a huge favor.
If the Patriots beat the Dolphins on Sunday, which they should do, they’ll have won their fifth straight AFC East title. They will now also take the top spot in the AFC and control of their postseason destiny. Now if they win out, there will be no trip to Denver necessary.
But first things first, they need to beat the Dolphins.
Patriots 28, Dolphins 17
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports
There are lots of things going against the Patriots in this one. “Life without Gronk, Part II” is the most alarming headline as they begin another season finish without number-87. Are the Patriots better prepared than they were, especially in the red zone, in the beginning of this season? Will Shane Vereen be the go-to-guy now, or will it be Amendola or Edelman?
Can the Pats offensive line protect Tom Brady from the likes of Olivier Vernon (11.5 sacks), Cameron Wake (4.5 sacks), Jared Odrick (4.5 sacks) and company? Perhaps this will be a game where the Pats let Stevan Ridley run and run and run. He has a 4.4 yard per carry average and four TD’s in his brief NFL career against the Fins.
On defense, the Pats have struggled of late and Miami tight end Caleb Clay is hot. Plus, will the heat and humidity be a factor in this one?
This is as big a game for Miami (7-6) as it is for the Pats. I think it will be a battle, but once again, the Patriots should pull out a close one.
Patriots 20, Miami 17
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
I know the Pats may be the better team, but this game in Miami is always very tough for them. In fact, I’m expecting the Pats to lose.
Miami is playing better ball and they’ve put all those Incognito distractions behind them. They are playing for a playoff spot and they are notoriously tough at home — especially against Tom Brady.
Gronk being gone is not what I am worried about. It’s the Pats’ defense that has me the most concerned. They’ve had trouble stopping teams and they will have trouble stopping the Dolphins. If the Pats win, it will be a statement game for them — I just don’t see it happening.
The Pats will start off slow again, but this time they can’t come back. The Dolphins get the victory and tighten the race in the AFC East.
Dolphins 30, Patriots 17
Tune in to Patriots-Dolphins this Sunday on WBZ-TV and 98.5 The Sports Hub — the flagship stations of the New England Patriots.
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