Patriots at Dolphins Game Preview
The New England Patriots will open their season on Sunday afternoon with a road game against the Miami Dolphins. It will be head coach Mike McDaniel’s first game in Miami going up against the greatest coach in NFL history. The Patriots are coming off a disappointing playoff loss in Buffalo. On the other side, the Dolphins are looking to build on a season in which they just missed the playoffs.
The game will be televised nationally on CBS, with kickoff set for 1:00 pm ET. The Dolphins are -3.5-point favorites and hold a record of 40-17 when these two clubs meet in Miami. This will be a monumental test for the Pats to begin the year.
We could see a low-scoring one here. Mac Jones is adjusting to changes at offensive coordinator and McDaniel will settle into his first game as head coach. Given the Dolphin’s track record against the Patriots in Miami and Tua’s weapons on the outside, the ‘Phins will squeak out a late win on a kick from Jason Sanders.
Patriots at Dolphins Prediction: Dolphins Win 17-16
- This is Mike McDaniel’s first game as Head Coach of the Dolphins. He was previously the offensive coordinator and run game coordinator for the 49ers.
- Miami has a 3-1 record when hosting the Patriots in week 1.
- The Patriots had a shaky preseason, to say the least, especially on offense. So, let’s see how Mac Jones leads the offense with uncertainty at offensive coordinator.
- We could see Tyreek Hill targeted a lot in his first game in South Beach.
- Both kickers will play a massive role in this one.
- Life should be easier for Tua with weapons like Waddle & Hill on the outside.
- The Dolphins love to bring pressure with the Blitz – How will Jones respond?
- Former Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers could make a significant impact against his old team.
- Devante Parker will have a difficult matchup with Xavien Howard in his return to Miami.
- Nick Folk will be an essential part of the Patriot’s offense this season and has made 55 straight field goal attempts inside 50 yards.
- Not having Jakobi Meyers (knee) and Ty Montgomery (ankle) will be a blow for the Pats.
- Trying to stop Hill & Waddle in the Miami heat could wear down the Patriot’s defense.
- I’d expect a heavy dose of Damien Harris, especially to begin the game. They need an effective running attack to open the pass for Jones.
- Given the two above points, the Patriots need to control the clock if they want a chance to win the game late.
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Fantasy Football Start ‘Em:
Chase Edmunds: If you’re in a PPR league, this could be an excellent under-the-radar pick. The Patriot’s defense tends to give up receiving yards to running backs, and McDaniel will find creative ways to get Edmunds the ball.
Dolphins Defense: We could see some growing pains from Mac Jones with the uncertainty from the play caller. The Patriot’s defense is also a good play in what will probably be a low-scoring affair for both clubs.
Damian Harris: Harris is a safer bet to get most of the carries in week 1 for the Pats. The points could add up quickly for Harris and we will see a steady diet of runs throughout the game.
Fantasy Football Sit ‘Em:
Tua Tagovailoa: Even with the new weapons on offense, the Patriot’s defense is one of the best against opposing Quarterbacks. In fact, they allowed the second-fewest points to QBs last season. If Tua is on your roster, use a wait-and-see approach to give him the start.
Mike Gesicki: The Patriot’s defense was one of the best in 2021 at limiting the passing attack from tight ends. Finding Gesicki targets with Hill, Waddle, and Cedrick Wilson running wild will be tough. You need to hope for some RedZone action, as he won’t be racking up many yards.
Rhamondre Stevenson: Like Tua, take more of a wait-and-see with Stevenson. He is on my roster because his upside (especially for TDs) is enormous. But we must see what his role will be in this offense, and it’s just too risky a play for week 1. It’s high-risk, high reward if you go this route to begin the season.
- Spread: Dolphins (-3.5)
- Moneyline: Dolphins (-177) – Patriots (+155)
- Over/Under: 46
Thomas’ Best Bet
The only play I’m genuinely confident with is the under 46. Week 1 games can be tough to predict, with teams giving their starters limited snaps in the preseason. It will be hot, humid, and both teams need to find their groove on offense.