So, if you follow pro football in the state of Florida, you have been given a sweet treat. The Jacksonville Jaguars are 2-1 and for all intents should be 3-0. They laid a serious egg against Tennessee after dropping a home game 9-6. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 2-1 and were sailing high with back up QB Ryan Fitzpatrick until they had a prime-time matchup against a Pittsburgh Steeler team that sorely needed the win. They got it. Both teams are in first or tied for it in their divisions. But it is the Miami Dolphins that are the sweetest treat of all. I’m talking Jaxson’s “kitchen sink” sweet. The Dolphins are 3-0 for the first time since 1998, and in first place in the division ALL BY THEMSELVES. And I am here to tell you that they will go 4-0. You heard right! They will beat the New England Patriots on the road to go 4-0 and take full control of the AFC East.
I know…I know. It sounds crazy. The FIns never beat New England. This is a road game, they have no chance. Even better. This is how unsurmountable these odds are. The Patriots have won the division a whopping 14 of the last 15 years!!! THat is insane. That is a dynasty for sure.
This season the Patriots have lost back to back games going into this one. In order for the Dolphins to accomplish this, they will have to win in Foxboro for the first time since 2008. As a matter of fact, the Pats have beat the Fins in 14 of their last 16 meetings. New England is trying to avoid a 1-3 start. The last time they did that was 2001.
So, why do I think this is going to happen? Here a bunch of reasons in no particular order.
1 – Ryan Tannehill is 10-1 in his last 11 starts. PERIOD!
2 – The Patriots allowed a 100-yd rushing game for Lions RB Kerryon Johnson on only 16 carries. The Lions have not had a 100-yd rusher since 2013. That is a span of 70 GAMES! Clearly, the Pats have a problem with the run.
3 – There is turmoil in New England. Lots of bitching between Brady and Belichick and the “divorce”. Gronk was set to be traded but nixed it because he refused to play anywhere else. It still shows that he was unwanted by New England, and they are afraid he will retire.
4 – The Patriots are 25th near the bottom of the league in points per game. This is not the good ole days. They really have no talent in my opinion. They are banged up at RB as Rex Burkhead is now on IR, and sadly he was their leading RB through three games with 86 yards. Josh Gordon, the new player that they acquired from the Browns will not play in this game. Gronkowski is questionable. Even healthy this team is weak this year.
5 – The Dolphins are actually just near the top ten in points per game. They are scoring 25.0 points on the dot.
6 – Miami is number one (tied with Seattle) for interceptions with SEVEN! They are tied for number two in football with the Bears who everybody is going gaga over in total takeaways with eight. They are tied with the Rams for number two in the NFL in takeaway / giveaway differential.
7 – Tom Brady has looked very mediocre this season. Ryan Tannehill’s QB rating right now is 121.8 compared to 93.9 for Brady. While Tannehill is not killing Brady in yards this season, he does have more, as Brady is 25th in the NFL with 644 yards. That is only 50 more than Mitch Trubisky!
8 – James White, the starting RB for New England in this game has only 66 yards on the year rushing.
9 – New England’s defense is playing very poorly. They are 28th in the NFL allowing 406.3 yards / game. The Patriots are allowing 25.7 points against them, 19th worst in the NFL while the Dolphins are allowing 17.3 points which is 6th best in the NFL.
10 – And this is the MAIN and MOST IMPORTANT reason I feel the Dolphins will win this game. They need this game so badly. This is truly a gut check game. The 3-0 start means NOTHING if they lost this game. Beating the Jets in week two on the road was a big deal, and huge for the division. But this is the true measuring stick. They must win this game to show the league and themselves that they are for real. It is the Patriots that are going to be the main challenger for the crown of the AFC East division. Not the Jets. The Jets have already come back down to Earth.
The Dolphins need to win this game to prove it to themselves that they have turned a corner. Losing this game would not only put them right back in the pack, which isn’t necessarily bad, but it isn’t really good either. If I were a Dolphin after this game should they lose, I would be livid. This is the hill that they must get over. History is against it. The NFL and it’s New England lap dogs like Chris Collinsworth and Tony Romo are against it. Hell, the Pope is probably betting on the Pats too.
Clearly, Vegas and the bookmakers don’t think the Dolphins are going to win. They are 6.5 underdogs in this game, even though it is a much evener game than in the past. One would have figured that this game would have been closer to minus three. It isn’t. So it is kind of a slap in the Miami Dolphins’ face.
So there you have it. I have just made the case for the Miami Dolphins. This game is just too important for them. If they win this game, they will be 4-0 and well in the driver’s seat in the AFC East. They got Cincinnati and Chicago next after New England, so it does not get easier for them. Both of those teams are off to good starts just like Miami. Good luck Miami, I am rooting for you, and I have a feeling that everyone in America is rooting for you as well. They just hate New England.