With two weeks left to go in the regular season, the Patriots path to a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs seems like a laminated one. Regardless of their 11-3 record, the Patriots still have to keep their eyes on the next step. The Miami Dolphins have gotten a lot better since their opening game against the Patriots and they are a lot better than their 5-9 record.
The Bills are 5-9 and they beat the Patriots back in week 3, don’t forget that. The Patriots beat the Dolphins 38-24 in week 1 of the regular season and you better believe they are looking for revenge. It is also important to note that the Dolphins have gotten a lot better since week 1. Matt Moore, Chad Henne’s replacement at quarterback for the Dolphins has a 9 point advantage over Chad Henne this season with a quarterback rating of 88. In fact, there are talks of Miami giving him a contract extension once this season comes to an end while Chad Henne will probably be out the door. Reggie Bush is proving analysts wrong left and right and he put in the extra time after practice to become a great every down back for the Dolphins this season. Reggie ran for a career high last week against the Bills with 203 rushing yards! Last but not least, the Dolphins defense which was one of the best against the pass in 2010 were tied in last place with the Patriots to start the 2011 season. Now they are ranked 24th against the pass while the Patriots are still dead last in that department. For some strange reason the Patriots are favored by nine and a half points against the Dolphins this week and you have to scratch your head and wonder why. I hope the Patriots don’t feel like they are nine and a half points better than the Dolphins heading into this week because they will surely be mistaken if they do.
Despite the fact that you rarely know who is fully healthy or hurting for the Patriots until kickoff, the Dolphins have less people on their injury report this week than the Patriots do, and that is another variable working in the Dolphins’ favor for an upset. The Patriots need Patrick Chung back in the worst way possible and it was noted that he was seen practicing with the Patriots earlier this week but we will know right before kickoff if he is going to play in this one. With nothing to lose and momentum on their side, I still think the Dolphins fall short against the Patriots this week. I think the Patriots have a slight edge at home and beat the Dolphins in a nail biter. I like the Patriots to beat the Dolphins 27-24.