BOSTON (CBS) — With just three weeks left in the regular season, the Patriots are inching closer and closer to being eliminated from playoff contention. Their only chance at the postseason is to keep winning and hope for a lot of help along the way.
The Miami Dolphins are hanging on to the final Wild Card spot in the AFC, but they too need to keep winning in order to hold off the Raiders and the Ravens. They’ll also be out for a little bit of revenge this weekend for New England’s 21-11 victory back in Week 1.
Miami is a much different team than they were in Week 1. The Patriots are a much different team than they were in Week 1. So how will Sunday’s game play out? Here are our predictions for Sunday’s Patriots-Dolphins tilt in Miami:
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV Sports
The Patriots beat the Dolphins back in Week 1, but that seems like forever ago. The Patriots are 2.5 point underdogs on Sunday, coming off a gigantic loss to the L.A. Rams.
Look for a much sharper Patriots team to bounce back with a win.
Patriots 21, Dolphins 17
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports
What scares me about this game is Miami leads the NFL in first quarter scoring while the Pats are at the bottom of the barrel in that category. And we’ve seen how the Patriots are not a come-from-behind team this season.
However, Bill Belichick continues to stymie young quarterbacks, as we saw a few weeks ago with Justin Herbert. I think the Patriots still have a good game in them.
Patriots 21, Dolphins 20
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
Even when the Pats were contenders and had Tom Brady, a trip to South Beach was always a problem. Now, the Pats are struggling to put a competitive offense on the field and the Dolphins are looking at playoffs. And this time around, Miami is good.
The Patriots are playing to finish the string strong but that may not be enough. They are not as talented as the Dolphins are right now and even with Miami dealing with some injuries, I think the Dolphins win this game.
Dolphins 20, Patriots 10
Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
Tough one to figure. But what else is new? I’m going with the Dolphins, because even the best Patriots teams of the past 20 years had trouble winning in Miami. I can’t imagine this year’s subpar team will be the rare Bill Belichick team to record the season sweep.
Dolphins 28, Patriots 19
Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
The Dolphins need a win on Sunday to stay in the hunt for a Wild Card spot. The Patriots need a win on Sunday to stay “relevant” in the playoff discussion.
Both teams are coming off a loss in Week 14, but the Dolphins showed us a lot more in a six-point defeat to the Chiefs than the Patriots did in a 21-point loss to the Rams. At this point, I’d like to see the Patriots get the young guys more involved so we can get a better look at the future.
Dolphins 24, Patriots 17
Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Dolphins clash on WBZ-TV — the television home of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay, kickoff is set for 1 p.m., and after the game switch over to TV38 for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!