Patriots-Dolphins prediction

Posted Dec. 24, 2011 @ 12:21 p.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

The Patriots can clinch a first-round bye with a win on Sunday over the Dolphins, and there are probably few teams the Pats would rather play less this weekend than Miami.

This is a very different Dolphins team than we saw in Week One, when Tom Brady threw for 517 yards in a Monday-night win. The Dolphins started the season with an 0-7 record before righting the ship. They have won five of seven, are healthy on defense and have plenty of confidence.

The way Reggie Bush has run the football also gives Miami an advantage. The Patriots struggled to stop the run against Denver, especially in the first quarter, and were far from stout against the Redskins the week prior.

Matt Moore is not afraid to take his shots, and he is probably looking forward to a chance to rack up some passing yards against the Patriots' woeful pass defense.

The Dolphins' aggressive defense could make things difficult for Tom Brady, but their weakness in covering tight ends is an area the Patriots can exploit.

The Pats have much more to play for and are pretty hard to beat at home. The defense's improvement in-game last week against Denver should carry over into this matchup against a team Bill Belichick is very familiar with.

The Dolphins will make this interesting, but in the end, Brady and the Pats, as we have seen before, will be too much.

Prediction: Patriots 34, Dolphins 27