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New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins 9/7/14 NFL Pick, Odds, Prediction

New England Patriots (0-0) at Miami Dolphins (0-0)

NFL Football: Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 1:00 pm (Sun Life Stadium)

The Line: Miami Dolphins +1.5 -- Over/Under: 46.5 See the Latest Odds


The Miami Dolphins host the New England Patriots in an AFC matchup in week one of the NFL season.

The New England Patriots went 12-4 in 2013 despite enduring some big injuries, eventually losing in the AFC Championship game to the Denver Broncos.  The Patriots went 2-2 in this year’s preseason as head coach Bill Belichick was content to concede the opening contest but play competitively in the final three. 

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins 9/7/14 NFL Pick, Odds, Prediction


The Patriots offense is led by quarterback Tom Brady and the primary target New England looks to get back and healthy is tight end Rob Gronkowski who tore his ACL and MCL last season and is questionable to start in week one.  The Patriots feature a lot of short routes in their offense which suits the current personnel at wide receiver of Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola; Aaron Dobson is more capable of stretching out the defense in his second year out of Marshall.  In the backfield the Patriots run by committee as  Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley, and Brandon Bolden all saw work with the team in 2013 and rookie James White joins the mix out of Wisconsin.

On defense, the Patriots were 10th in the league in points allowed last season which is impressive considering they ranked 30th in the league in rushing yards allowed and 20th in passing yards allowed.  The Pats features some marquee names on defense including run-stopping defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, cornerback Darelle Revis, and defensive captains LB Jerod Mayo and FS Devin McCourty.   If the Patriots defense can stay healthy this could be one of the better overall teams we’ve seen out of New England in the last few seasons.

The Miami Dolphins are coming off an 8-8 campaign in 2013 that was marred by controversy with Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin.  The Dolphins took the preseason seriously with a record of 3-1 under head coach Joe Philbin.

The Dolphins offense will be without starting center Mike Pouncey to start the 2014 season, which could make things difficult on starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill.   With the offensive line lacking cohesion, wide receiver Mike Wallace figures to struggle on his signature deep routes, while WR Brian Hartline and TE Charles Clay could become bigger targets on intermediate routes.  In the backfield the Dolphins added RB Knowshon Moreno to complement Lamar Miller who was solid in averaging four yards per carry and playing all 16 games last season.

On defense, the Dolphins ranked 8th in points allowed in 2013 while 15th in the league in passing yards allowed and 24th in rushing yards allowed.  In the front seven, Cameron Wake is a sack specialist at defensive end and Phillip Wheeler led the team in tackles last season as part of a linebacker unit that struggled in covering tight ends.  The secondary features notable names in Brent Grimes and Cortland Finnegan at corner, while Louis Delmas was signed at free safety.  

The Dolphins know how to play the Patriots tough and I don't like the looks of the Dolphins offensive line to support putting up many points against the Patriots defense.   I see this game playing under the total.

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