The New England Patriots (9-3) will head to Hard Rock Stadium to battle the Miami Dolphins (6-6) in Week 14 (December 9, 2018 at 1:00pm EST). The Dolphins opened as 7.5-point underdogs.
New England’s offense has been able to move the ball at will this season. They average 273.4 yards per game through the air (9th), and 121.7 per game on the ground (11th). The Patriots balanced attack has resulted in a lot of points, as they are scoring 27.6 PPG (7th).
Tom Brady has been great at quarterback for New England this season. He’s completing 65.9% of his passes while totaling 3,342 yards and 20 touchdowns, with just 8 INTs – a 96.8 passer rating. Brady is fresh off a solid outing against the Vikings, posting 311 passing yards and 1 TDs. Meanwhile, Sony Michel has led the way in the backfield, rushing for 649 yards and adding five touchdowns on the ground.
New England’s offense isn’t the only unit worthy of applause, though, as their defense has been tremendous, too. The Patriots are only giving up 21.6 points per game, good for 10th-best in the NFL. This is a unit that is built to stop the run. New England only spots their opponent 106.7 yards per game on the ground (13th).
Fortunately, New England’s defense avoids any sort of offensive juggernaut this week, when they meet the Dolphins. Miami is scoring just 20.3 points per game (25th).
When you can’t move the football, finding your way into the endzone is quite the task. Ryan Tannehill and company are learning this lesson firsthand this year. They rank 28th in passing, only throwing for 199.4 yards per game, and 24th in rushing, totaling just 102.7 rushing yards per game.
Tannehill must step up for his team. He has only passed for 1,313 yards with a 13:6 TD-to-INT ratio. Tannehill would benefit from a little help from Frank Gore (616 rushing yards this year) and a ground game that has been extremely ineffective, though. In order for Miami to hang around this game, at least one of these two will need to do something special.
Defensively, the Dolphins are a pretty mediocre group. They allow 25.0 points per game, ranking 20th in the NFL. They’ve been terrible against the run, giving up a whopping 144.1 rushing yards per game. Their pass defense has not been much better. Miami is allowing an concerning 254.8 passing yards per game (21st). This is a defense that functions best with their heels on their own goal-line.
The last time these two teams met was September 30th, 2018, when New England manhandled the Dolphins, 38-7. The Patriots were also 6.5-point favorites in that game.