New England Patriots (12-4) at Miami Dolphins (8-8)
|Date & Time||Sunday September 7, 2014, 1:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Miami Dolphins +4.5 -- Over/Under: 46.5
The New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins begin their 2014 NFL season with a Sunday matchup at Sun Life Stadium.
The New England Patriots enter the season with pretty much the same offense weapons they’ve had for years, such as Tom Brady at quarterback, Stevan Ridley at running back and Rob Gronkowski at tight end. However, Gronk is questionable for this matchup with a knee injury. The Patriots don’t have the same amount of offensive firepower they’ve had in years past, but they were still Top 10 last year in passing and rushing the football. Defense is where the New England Patriots should improve the most with the return of defensive lineman Vince Wilfork and the addition of shutdown cornerback Darrelle Revis. Last season, the Patriots ranked 18th against the pass and 30th against the run, but those numbers should improve with two marquee players added to the squad.
The Miami Dolphins are going to be a hit or miss this season, as there’s potential, but we’ve been saying that for years. The good news is that the Dolphins offensive line should be better with the additions of Branden Albert and rookie Ja'Wuan James, a duo that worked well in the preseason. Ryan Tannehill should have more time to throw the ball now and find his wide receiver weapons in Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline. The Dolphins were a lousy offensive team last season but have the ability to change that with better offensive line play. The Miami Dolphins are usually always above average defensively and that shouldn’t change much with Cameron Wake, Brent Grimes and Cortland Finnegan teaming up on that side of the ball.
The Patriots are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games. The Dolphins are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The home team is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
The Dolphins usually always play the Patriots well and it’s safe to say that the Patriots are no longer the same Patriots that used to be a lock to win most of their games. With Miami at home and the improvements they made offensively, I like the fish to win SU as my upset of the week.
Forget the points, take Miami.