Miami (3-3) at New England (6-0)
When: Thursday, October 29th 2015
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: CBS
Week 8 of the NFL season kicks off with an AFC East matchup between the resurgent Miami Dolphins and the undefeated New England Patriots from Foxborough. The Dolphins went into their bye week at 1-3 and looked horrible in the process. Their only win was a 17-10 victory of the Redskins. They fired head coach Joe Philbin and named Dan Campbell interim coach. Since then, Miami has won two straight and have scored 82 points in those victories over Tennessee and Houston. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed a record 25 straight passes over those games and now sits at 13 touchdowns for the season. His QB rating has soared to 91.7. Running back Lamar Miller seems to like the new coach as well. He has back-to-back 100 yard games including 175 last week. The defense is also playing better. They beat the Titans 38-10 off the bye and led 41-0 last week against Houston before allowing 26 second half garbage points. Although the Dolphins realistically have no shot at winning the division, they can still make the Playoffs as a Wild Card. The road ahead is brutal however, as they play 3 road games in a row starting tonight and four of their next five. They’re at Buffalo next week, followed by at Philly, home against Dallas, then back on the road to the Jets.
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Tom Brady and the Patriots continue to roll through their opponents, but they had their hands full last week against the Jets. New York came into the game with the best rushing defense in the league, so did New England do? They completely abandoned the running game. Brady threw the ball 54 times for 355 yards and a pair of touchdowns. You would think that when a QB throws it 54 times that he would have an interception or two – not Brady. He has now thrown it 251 times this year with only 1 interception. The Patriots should be able to run the ball a little more tonight against Miami. Leading rusher LeGarrette Blount ran it three times last week for -3 yards, but is still averaging 4.7 yards a carry on the season. The Patriots defense was able to limit Chris Ivory to just 41 yards on 17 carries last week, but it did appear Ivory was playing hurt. They’ll have a tougher time stopping Miller tonight.
These Thursday games on short rest are hard to predict. Miami is carrying a lot of momentum into this game and I expect them to play well enough to at least cover.
Pick: Dolphins +8