New England Patriots vs Miami Dolphins: NFL Thursday Night Football Schedule, Predictions, Stream & Preview
The New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins will face off on Thursday night in an AFC East divisional matchup. Three weeks ago, this may have looked like a blowout, but the Dolphins are turning things around. This is a huge game with critical playoff implications on the line.
New England Patriots (6-0)
Last week was a close one, but Tom Brady and Bill Belichick came out with the win in the end to remain undefeated. At 6-0, the Patriots are on top of the AFC East, and they are tied with the Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals for first in the AFC. The Patriots have the No. 1 scoring offense, but their running game has been terrible so far this season. The Patriots rushing attack ranks 31st in the league.
Brandon LaFell was activated last week, but he had a pretty rough game against the New York Jets. LaFell had a lot of crucial drops, but it should be mentioned that was his first game since the Super Bowl back in February. The Patriots need LaFell to get back to form so he can stretch the field on the outside while Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman dominate the inside within 10 yards.
Naturally, Robert Gronkowski will be the go to guy when all else fails.
Still, the Patriots ground game has to improve. Dion Lewis is expected to play after missing last week's game with an injury. LeGarrette Blount has fit the Patriots' system very well, but he had a horrific game last week with negative three yards rushing. The Patriots have to get Blount going so they are not to one dimension on offense.
Defensively, the Patriots are a "bend, but don't break" squad. They won't be confused for the 1985 Chicago Bears anytime soon, but they do their job. Malcolm Butler was brought back to replace to Darrelle Revis, and he's doing a good job in one on one coverage.
The Patriots will play the Washington Redskins in their next game.
Miami Dolphins (3-3)
The Dolphins began the season 1-3, but they have rebounded with back-to-back victories over the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans to get back to .500. New head coach Dan Campbell appears to be changing things in South Beach. It's only a two game winning streak, but 3-3 is a heck of a lot better than 1-5.
Even at 3-3, the Dolphins are still very much in this. The Buffalo Bills are struggling big time having now dropped to 3-4 with a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in London, England. This may very well be a road game, but the Dolphins have to win this game for multiple reasons. They have yet to win a divisional game with an 0-2 record and they can't expect to win the AFC East at 3-4.
The Dolphins are currently on a three game road trip.
Lamar Miller had an incredible game last week with over 230 total yards. He will be counted on big time in this one to help control the clock and keep a high time of possession. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is inconsistent, but he's been playing a lot better lately. Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake have a combined eight sacks this season, and they will need to put pressure on Brady.
The Dolphins play the Bills in their next game.
New Patriots and Dolphins will play on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 8:25 p.m. EDT on the NFL Network and CBS. The game will be played at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. You can watch a live game stream here.
The Patriots are the favorites to win this one, and they will be at home. They have a great offense, however with their offensive line hurting a bit, I'm going with the upset in this one. The Dolphins need this win much more than the Patriots do as they are in desperation mode.
Dolphins win 27-24
Follow Damon Salvadore on Twitter @DamonSalvadore1
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