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NFL Picks: Dolphins vs Patriots Prediction, Odds (September 12)

  • Mac Jones will start for New England after beating out Cam Newton this summer
  • Patriots won this fixture 21-11 in last year’s opener
  • Miami are now truly Tua’s team, he’s looking to make the next step after his rookie year

The Mac Jones era will officially begin in New England this Sunday as the Patriots host the Dolphins, but it also feels like this is now truly Tua Tagovailoa’s team too after Ryan Fitzpatrick left in free agency. Former Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores has done a great job rebuilding the Dolphins since his arrival, while the Pats have also gone through a major rebuild. It will be tough, but both of these teams will give Buffalo a proper run for the division title.

Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots Schedule

  • Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass
  • When: Sunday, September 12, 4:25PM ET
  • How to Watch: CBS

Dolphins vs Patriots Vegas Odds

Game Preview

Do the Dolphins really believe in Tua?

The situation with Tua is a strange one because many thought he would be a number 1 overall Draft choice before a horrible injury, but he did well to fight back and it looks like he’s now ready to lead this team to the playoffs.

The problem is that the rumours about a trade for Deshaun Watson simply won’t go away, while it’s also been noted that there’s something odd about the Dolphins not making their QB1 one of their captains:

Truthfully, it’s one of those stories that can be spun either way depending on how positive or negative you want to be. Is it really a sign that the Dolphins don’t trust him? Or is he still just a leader anyway and this is a way of putting less pressure on him?

Will Fuller does miss this game but he still has DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki, and Jaylen Waddle to throw to, while this Dolphins defense is excellent against the pass and they gave up the sixth-fewest points in the league last year, so this one could be a tight affair.

The Patriots are going to run.. a lot

It makes sense to give a rookie QB a solid ground game to lean on anyway, but this Pats O-Line is right up there with the best in the league, while Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, and J.J Taylor all looked excellent in the preseason and they bring something different to the attack too.

Mac Jones may not be Tom Brady, but the offense does look like what we’ve all been used to when the rookie played in pre-season, so expect a heavy dose of running sprinkled with the usual play-action passes to Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry as the Two-TE sets look set to return.

The Pats’ strength in recent years has been the defense, but it appears this year could be slightly different. While recent seasons have seen outstanding coverage which has allowed a limited pass rush to get home, this campaign will see multiple sack-threats in Matt Judon, Chase Winovich, Josh Uche, Kyle Van Noy and more, but Stephon Gilmore is out and the coverage doesn’t look as fearsome as it once did.

Matt Patricia is back in some guise so expect the “bend but don’t break” philosophy to sneak its way back in, with plenty of yardage being given up but hoping that situation football can still win the day.

Prediction & Pick

Who will win the Dolphins vs Patriots game:

There’s a general pattern that emerges in these clashes – New England wins at home, and Miami return the favor later in the season with a victory at Hard Rock. This game is going to come down to the ground game, and the Pats have the edge this early in the season. The O-line is healthy and tackling is traditionally sloppy at the beginning of the year, so expect them to control the clock and the ball while running out winners much like they did in last year’s opener.

Dolphins 17 Patriots 23

Expert Pick:

  • Patriots win
Tom has a deep passion for soccer and has worked as a coach and a first-team scout alongside covering everything from the Champions League to Croatian non-league stories. He also loves the NFL and sees nothing wrong with staying up til 5am on a regular basis to watch it in the UK

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