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The Dolphins are heading to Foxborough to take on the Patriots this Sunday. Despite it being week 17, the Patriots have a lot to play for. If they beat the Dolphins they’ll be the 2nd seed in the AFC and clinch a first-round bye. The Dolphins are coming off of a pretty high scoring game against the Bengals, which they won in overtime. I don’t think they’ll be able to put up nearly as many points against the Patriots defense, one of the best in the league this season. The Patriots offense proved to mid to late season doubters that they’re still capable when they put up 24 points against a tough Bills defense on Saturday. I think this is going to be a pretty one-sided game in the Patriots’ favor. Click here for more details and betting information on the Dolphins @ Patriots matchup this Sunday.
Date: Sunday, December 29, 2019
Time: 10:00 AM PST
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA
Dolphins: Chandler Cox (Q), Evan Boehm (Q), Taco Charlton (Q), Vince Biegel (Q), Myles Gaskin (Q), Allen Hurns (Q), Jomal Wiltz (Q), Chase Allen (Q), Connor Hilland (Q), Rashawn Scott (Q)
Patriots: Jonathan Jones (Q), Jason McCourty (Q), Marcus Cannon (Q) ,
Miami Dolphins Analysis
The Dolphins are coming off of a high scoring game against the Bengals. They put up 38 points, their highest-scoring game of the season. Their offense has been looking better since they put Fitzpatrick in as the starter, and they’ve beaten some more formidable opponents like the Colts and the Eagles. Their passing offense ranks right in the middle of the league for average passing yards per game with 231.9. Fitzpatrick has found a great weapon in Davante Parker, who’s having a great season. Parker has 64 receptions for 1,065 yards (16th most) and 9 touchdowns (t-3rd most) on the season. Their passing game is pretty much all they have going for them on offense. Their passing game has been unproductive, averaging only 72.9 yards per game, the fewest in the whole league. They’ve had talent at running back like Kenyan Drake, who has been doing well at the Cardinals since being traded, but their offensive line hasn’t been able to support a running game. They’ve allowed 56 sacks on the year, tied for the most in the league with the Panthers and the Titans. This isn’t a great look against the Patriots who have 45 sacks on the season, the 6th most in the league.
Defensively the Dolphins have been a bit less productive. They allow an average 265.4 passing yards per game, the 6th most in the league. They also allow an average 135.4 yards on the ground, again the 6th most in the league. The Patriots offense wasn’t looking super strong toward the middle to the end of the season, but they’re still strong enough to put up a lot of points against the Dolphins defense. I don’t think the Dolphins are going to be able to hold the Patriots offense. I think the score line will be better than in their 43-0 loss in week 2, but I don’t think the Dolphins will come out ahead on this one, unless Fitzpatrick can unleash some serious Fitzmagic.
Miami Dolphins Depth Chart
New England Patriots Analysis
The Patriots offense looked better against the Bills than it has in the past couple weeks. This is an especially good sign for them considering the strength of the Bills defense. Julian Edelman was a big weapon for them last week against the Bills, with 5 receptions for 72 yards. N’Keal Harry has also been emerging as more of a weapon. He had a touchdown in week 15 against the Bengals and had one that was taken away the week before that as well. He didn’t post the biggest stat line against the Bills, but I think he could be a serious weapon against the weaker Dolphins defense. This could be a breakout game for Harry. The Patriots rush for an average 104.5 yards per game placing them in the bottom half of the league. They do have 16 rushing touchdowns, tied with the Packers for the 9th most in the league. They’ve been efficient on the ground and should have a good game against the Dolphins.
The Patriots defense has been the star of their show this season. They allow an average 170.7 passing yards per game, the 2nd fewest in the league. They also have 25 interceptions on the season, the most in the league and 6 ahead of 2nd place, the Steelers. They’ve been strong against the run as well, allowing only 97.7 rushing yards per game on average, the 7th fewest in the league. Basically, they’re a great defense, and I think the Dolphins are going to have trouble getting points on the board. The Dolphins are certainly a stronger offense than they were in their week 2 matchup with the Patriots, but I don’t think they’re strong enough to get through the Patriots defense. I’m expecting a win out of the Patriots this week, especially considering they’ll be playing for a first-round bye.
New England Patriots Depth Chart
First of all, I would sit Davante Parker. I assume they’ll put Stephon Gilmore on Davante Parker, which could totally shut him down. Parker has been a great fantasy receiver this season but I don’t think that trend is going to continue against the Patriots. The Dolphins defense is pretty weak all around so I think starting any Patriots players on you have your roster that get fairly regular targets/carries could be a good idea. N’Keal Harry might be a good pickup off of the waiver wire. He’s only owned in around 9% of leagues so there’s a large chance he’s there in yours. He’s had his two highest fantasy games over the past two weeks, an 11.7 point game and a 5.9 point game (PPR leagues). He could have a big game against this weaker Dolphins secondary if given the chance, so he would be a player to keep an eye on in this matchup.