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What NFL Experts Say About Patriots-Dolphins


Will New England bounce back after falling short against the Eagles?

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throws a pass against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, September 10, 2023, in Inglewood, California. AP Photo/Kyusung Gong


It’s too early in the NFL season to really understand if this foot is going to mean anything.

What if Kayshon Boutte’s inability to get both feet inbounds (the second time) ends up being the difference between the New England Patriots being a playoff team or spending (another) January watching the rest of the league have fun like your team did before. Imagine if this team is good enough to go 18-1, how frustrating that foot will be.

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Or it probably won’t mean anything.

In fact, the overall judgment on the piece itself has changed a bit since then. The knee-jerk reaction was to wonder why a rookie is in this situation — down five and driving with the game on the line — instead of veterans like DeVante Parker (injured) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (not Jakobi Meyers). But in the days since, I’ve heard echoes of a different view: Philadelphia cornerback Josh Jobe made a pretty cool play to get Boutte’s second foot out of bounds.

Maybe the foot should act like a “…to be continued…” After all, we were in the middle of Mac Jones’ defining moment before it was interrupted. On the foot. Maybe the best is yet to come. The foot only delayed the love story you’re ready to experience with this team by a week. Maybe.

Or what if the foot ended up looking like the misstep everyone would forget as Boutte fought his way to Rookie of the Year honors? “Just when you thought…” Maybe this will be a deciding factor in the NFC East that helps keep the New York Giants out of the mix of teams competing for the Super Bowl, just so we don’t have to do it all again .

Then again, that might be the difference between Boutte staying or ending up on the practice roster.

Maybe it’s nothing.

It’s just the first week. It’s just a foot.


This week’s predictions:

Greg Cote, Miami Herald: Dolphins 24, Patriots 20. “Give credit to the living ghost of Bill Belichick. He may have been stripped of his genius card since Tom Brady left and took the victory with him, but Bill still knows how to coach him on defense. He always focuses on what the opponent does best, so we have to understand that the Patriots are going to scheme to derail Tyreek Hill as Tua Tagovailoa’s top target. But even if it works to some extent, doesn’t that just mean Jaylen Waddle’s fantasy owners will be smiling? Miami had nine plays of 20-plus yards against the Chargers last week, while the Pats only gave up one play that long in their 25-20 loss to Philly. New England’s defense ensures these old AFC East rivals will fill the stage on Sunday night with a great game. It’s a tough situation for Miami to overcome, with the Finns having won just twice in their last 14 trips to Foxborough. Then again, Miami is on a 12-3 streak as a betting favorite, and Tagovailoa is 4-0 in his young career against the Pats, only proving that trends can adapt to your needs. Miami is hoping LT Terron Armstead will be back in action and an uncertain Waddle will be ready as well. RB Raheem Mostert appears to be the biggest injury problem. The Pats are a trendy pick, but I deservedly had Fins an upset winner in Los Angeles last week and will continue to ride the Dolphins bandwagon until it throws me off.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: Patriots 24, Dolphins 23. “Miami is coming off a high-flying offensive win against the Chargers. Tua Tagovailoa was exceptional in this match. The Patriots lost to the Eagles, but the defense played well. This defense will keep them in this game as they slow down the high-flying Dolphins to win it late. Special upset.

CBS Sports Staff: Six out of eight like New England (+2.5).

Jimmy Kempski, Philly Voice: Dolphins (-3). “The Patriots were praised for playing well in week one. HM okay. They got a D+ effort from the Eagles and still couldn’t get a win despite numerous opportunities. Meanwhile, their offensive line remains very struggling and they will face an offense that gained 536 yards in their first game. How come this line is only 3? »

ESPN Staff: 6 out of 10 take the Pats.

Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: Dolphins (-3). “It’s a tough game to pick and landing on the Dolphins making a field goal seems square. I assume everyone will be in Miami for Sunday night’s game. But my approach with the Dolphins remains the same: Since the start of last season, the Dolphins have been one of the NFL’s elite teams in games Tua Tagovailoa started and finished. However, they don’t get that kind of respect during betting windows.

Sheil Kapadia, The Ringer: Miami (-3). “It’s possible the Patriots thwart this Dolphins offense, but Miami was too impressive last week for me to wipe them out here.”

USA today Personal: Six of eight choose the Dolphins.

SB Nation Staff: Only one in 11 likes New England.

Vinnie Iyer, Sports news: Dolphins 27, Patriots 24. “Miami’s offense is something that can energize New England’s defense with an emphasis on getting its fastest players to the open field (see Tyreek Hill and more Tyreek Hill) for Mike McDaniel. The Patriots offense can’t test the secondary well without the Dolphins’ Jalen Ramsey without much in the receiving corps. Tagovailoa plays at the point and can outperform his former college teammate Mac Jones with less pressure and more juice around him.

Bill Bender, Sports news: Dolphins 24, Patriots 21. “The Dolphins have a chance to put the Patriots in an 0-2 hole, and the difference will be the passing game. Patriots coach Bill Belichick will try to eliminate Tyreek Hill, and it will work to some extent. The difference between these teams’ games last year was turnovers. Which teams protect the ball in a close game? “

Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: Dolphins 28, Patriots 23.

Chris Simms, Pro Football Talk: Dolphins 28, Patriots 24.

Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times: Dolphins 27, Patriots 21. “Coordinator Bill O’Brien is a big upgrade for the Patriots offense, and they don’t look back at home. But Miami has unreal offensive speed and is really difficult to contain. Someone will open up.

It says here: Patriots 26, Dolphins 21. Forget the game; who will be the lighthouse keeper?


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