Punt on the Patriots

Can Brady make it 6 Super Bowl wins at the age of 41

Form:

3-0 Miami Dolphins go to Foxboro to face the New England Patriots who are looking for their tenth straight AFC East title. Bill Belichick’s men are stuttering though, 1-2, recording their lowest team total (10) in 38 games, against Houston last week. The Patriots are no strangers to slow starts though, even in their latest 5 Super Bowl winning seasons, they’ve been 10-6 in September and 55-9 afterwards.

The Dolphins have lost Ajayi, Suh and Jarvis Landry in the past year but have started great. My worry though is strength of schedule; Titans, Jets and Raiders not the toughest run. It’s about to get tougher as the Pats at home in the last four games against the Fins have put an average of 35 points on them.

The Match:

Adam Gase is a quality coach, masterminding record seasons for Peyton Manning and Jay Cutler when involved with them in the past. Now he has orchestrated an ordinary looking Dolphins side on paper 3-0 and Tannehill to be very efficient.

There was some great play invention against the Raiders and I wonder whether that can be repeated against the coach of coaches in Belichick. Tom Brady is unlikely to get pressure and I can see James White and Rob Gronkowski having big days. White benefiting from the absence of Rex Burkhead and Gronk who was 5/82/2 in his one clash with Miami last season.

We may see Josh Gordon but I’d say he will line up rather than be targeted until he fully learns the New England way. The Patriots are allowing big yardage to running backs so far this season, expect Keynan Drake to be highly involved. Sony Michel may see goal line carries in the absence of Burkhead. Danny Amendola will be a talking point, the ex Patriot would love to have a big game against his old team.

Team News:

Rex Burkhead has been placed on injured reserve. Josh Gordon’s participation is questionable, his usage for his new team is anyone’s guess. Rob Gronkowski has been limited in practice (what’s new). Edelman not back until week 5.

Verdict:

New England Patriots to have a bounce back game against the Dolphins. Over 27.5 points team total at 10/11 seems fair when you allow for a sluggish start, Miami being flattered by the ease of opposition faced in first three weeks and points put up by Pats in their last 4 home starts against the Fins.

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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article