Patriots vs. Dolphins: 3 keys to the game, fun facts, prediction

Ryan Hannable
September 14, 2019 - 10:51 am
Categories: 

In a game that usually gives the Patriots trouble, it doesn’t appear to be the case this time around.

Listen to your team news NOW.

South Florida hasn’t been too kind to the Patriots as they have lost five out of the last six meetings there, but this is a completely Dolphins team. First-year coach Brian Flores is establishing his own culture, trading away several veterans before Week 1.

Miami was blown out at home by the Ravens 59-10 at home last week, while the Patriots got off to a great start with a 33-3 win over the Steelers on Sunday Night Football.

New England is currently favored by 19 points, which is the second-largest point spread for a road team in NFL history.

Patriots vs. Dolphins
Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019 
1:00 p.m., CBS
Patriots -19, over/under 48.5

3 keys to the game

Keep passing game clicking

The Patriots offense was better than advertised in Week 1 with a number of different players getting involved in the passing game. Phillip Dorsett had one of the best games of his career, hauling in four passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Josh Gordon looked better than he did at any point last year, showcasing his athleticism and also toughness by making a contested catch over the middle of the field. It remains to be seen how much Antonio Brown will play, but this could be a good game to get him acclimated to the offense.

Don’t let Ryan Fitzpatrick get confident

The veteran quarterback has faced the Patriots numerous times over the course of his career and has had plenty of success. The last thing the Patriots want is for him to get off to a fast start and gain confidence. While the Miami roster isn’t that great, DeVante Parker certainly has the ability to make some plays in the passing game.

Stay strong on defense

New England has the potential to have one of the best defenses in all of football this season and it was on full display Sunday night against the Steelers, holding one of the best offenses in the game to only three points. The unit rotates a number of players in and out and is continuing its aggressive style from a year ago.

Fun facts

1. If the Patriots do not allow a touchdown in the first half, it means they will have gone 10 straight quarters without allowing one. It would be the first time since 1982 that they have been able to do that.

2. Since 2001 in the regular season when leading after three quarters, the Patriots are 185-10.

3. Since 2001 in the regular season when scoring first, the Patriots are 157-27.

4. If Duron Harmon picks off a pass, he will set a new NFL record for interceptions against a single team since 2013. He currently has five against Miami.

5. With an interception, Devin McCourty (22 interceptions) would break a tie with Asante Samuel and claim sole possession of 10th place in career interceptions with the Patriots.

Prediction 

Patriots 34, Dolphins 7

This game has the potential to get out of hand quickly, as the Patriots are one of the best teams in the league and the Dolphins one of the worst. One thing to keep in mind is Bill Belichick may not run up the score against Flores like John Harbaugh did last week, including calling a fake punt late in the first half.

Related: Malcolm Mitchell opens up on life after football in emotional interview