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Patriots-Dolphins prediction roundup

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff November 21, 2008 08:36 AM

I like to think myself a pretty traditional guy, having things you can depend on year-in and year-out.

That being said, can someone in the NFL please do something about the stink that is the traditional Thanksgiving schedule?

Oh, sure there has been hubbub in the past over exactly why the Lions get the annual 12:30 time slot, particularly since they were last compelling when Wayne Fontes was at the helm. But this year takes the pie. We’ve got the potentially undefeated Titans at the probable winless Lions next Thursday afternoon. Trap game, it ain’t.

It gets worse. We follow it up with Seattle at Dallas. Seattle. Have you watched the Seahawks this season? Have you in any way wanted to watch the Seahawks this season? I mean, it will be nice for Norfolk’s Hasselbecks, and Plainville’s Mosi Tatupu (by the way, still waiting for that jersey, Pats Pro Shop), but beyond that, well, even fantasy geeks have given up on anything to do with Seattle.

Arizona-Philadelphia isn’t a bad game, but since it’s on the NFL Network, four percent of the country will see it.

I know the NFL wants to protect this “tradition” as an annual event, but shouldn’t there be a loophole that if your team is, oh, I don’t know, the worst football team in the world, you might want to shake things up a bit?

It astounds me that in a landscape where the almighty advertising dollar is king, the league wouldn’t take a shakeup a bit more seriously. At least put the Lions on probation until they fix things a bit. Green Bay or Chicago is a nice option for a Thanksgiving game, no?

There’s even a threat that Thursday’s game will blacked out in Detroit. Imagine that embarrassment for the NFL. Though the Detroit Free Press’ Steve Schrader has an idea: “Show it in Detroit and black it out every place else.”

Perfect.

Whom they’re picking

Our roundup of pundit picks for Sunday's Patriots-Dolphins showdown:

  • Jim McBride, Boston Globe: Patriots. “There's panic in the streets of Patriot Nation as fans wonder how the Dolphins will implement the dreaded Wildcat offense. Fear not. I have it on good authority that Bill Belichick is ready to unveil the new Cougar defense, guaranteed to strike fear in the hearts of opposing runners.”

  • Boston Globe staff picks: Patriots across the board.

  • Greg Cote, Miami Herald: Patriots 27, Dolphins 23. “Oh glory be, a late-November Dolphin game with playoff weight! But wait. Just when this was getting good, Miami's winning streak hits a dead-end at four in (officially, but not really) a minor upset. Dolphins ripped apart NE with Wildcat claws 38-13 earlier this year, humiliating a team not used to being beaten, let alone embarrassed, and that's high-octane fuel to drive the Pats here. Hunch a loud game by a quiet Randy Moss. Plus, Bill Belichick with extra days to prepare has not stopped being a scary thing. No surprise with the Wildcat now. No surprise here, either: Pats, if only by a little, are still better.”

  • Peter King, Sports Illustrated: Patriots 27, Dolphins 23. “It's not nice to embarrass Bill Belichick. He plays a team Sunday that rubbed his nose in the dirt at home with trick plays he should have been able to handle at Wesleyan, and he walks into a place with one of his football godfathers, Bill Parcells, watching down on him from a suite. You don't often see Belichick under pressure, embarrassed.”

  • ESPN.com staff: Five of eight pick the Patriots (of those who have picked).

  • Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: Patriots 30, Dolphins 20. “Can you believe how big this game is this late in the season? Amazing. The Dolphins blew out the Patriots earlier this year, but that won't happen again. The Wildcat formation worked the first time. It won't this time. The Pats don't lose two in a row and they lost last week.”

  • CBS Sports staff: Four of six pick the Dolphins to cover.

  • Cold, Hard, Football Facts: Patriots 24, Dolphins 23. “In the first meeting between these teams, the Dolphins unveiled their Wildcat formation to smashing success, routing New England 38-13. Since then, the Patriots have largely been much better on defense, as they sit at No.8 in Bendability – one spot behind Miami. With a chance to reclaim a share of first place in the AFC East if Tennessee holds serve, New England gets revenge with a tough road win.”

  • Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Patriots 20, Dolphins 17. “Belichick can still expect a tough defensive effort from Parcells' and Tony Sparano's team, but the renewed confidence and playmaking skills of Matt Cassel will help the Pats earn a season series split.”

  • USA Today staff: Patriots across the board.

  • Yahoo! staff: Dolphins across the board.

  • Peter Schrager, FOXSports.com: Patriots 28, Dolphins 16. “The last time these two teams played, Ronnie Brown accounted for five TDs (four rush, one pass) and the Dolphins put an end to New England 's NFL-record 21-game regular-season win streak. But that was against the old Matt Cassel, not the guy we've seen over the past month. Hey, Angrees4X, this one's for you.”

  • Nancy Gay, San Francisco Chronicle: Patriots. “A huge divisional matchup with important playoff implications - both teams are a game out of first. The Dolphins are winning with trick plays and Joey Porter, but Randy Moss and Matt Cassel will wear them out.”

  • Sam Farmer, LA Times: Dolphins. “The Wildcat offense isn't going to catch the Patriots off guard this time. Even without the element of surprise, though, the Dolphins will pick up their fifth consecutive victory for the first time in three years.”

  • T-Bone: Patriots.

  • Our pick: Dolphins 33, Patriots 30. The last time the Patriots lost back-to-back regular season games was Nov. 5-12 of 2006, coincidentally enough to the Colts and Jets, two teams they also lost to in a three-week span this season. After running off three wins in a row, that edition went down to Miami and had the snot kicked out of them, 21-0.

    It’s no secret the Patriots have had their troubles in Miami, even during their dominant era earlier this decade, most memorably the 29-28 loss there during the Super Bowl-run season of ’04.

    New England is a better team than it was the last time these two faced off, but it’s now Week 12 and we have little idea how good the Patriots actually are. In a more established world, it would be easy to predict Belichick not letting up the reins in a payback rout. But despite what we might want to believe, nothing about this injury-depleted crew is stable right now.


29 comments so far...
  1. It won't be that close Eric but at least you have the good sense to pick the better team in this matchup. NE is just too banged up .

    Posted by Bob Griese November 21, 08 11:02 AM
  1. The Patriots are more stable that you give them credit for. You're talking about a team that lost basically have of its fity-three man roster in both 2003 and 2004, and won superbowls both years.

    Thet Jets won last week on the flip of a coin and a blown coverage. Pats win it this week, 28-17

    Posted by Soup November 21, 08 12:09 PM
  1. You always pick the Pats to lose. Thank god you are wrong more then you are right

    EW: Really?

    Our pick: Patriots 17, Jets 14

    Our pick: Patriots 28, Bills 24

    Our pick: Colts 35, Patriots 31

    Our pick: Patriots 21, Rams 17

    Our pick: Broncos 35, Patriots 2

    Our pick: Patriots 37, Chargers 28

    Our pick: Patriots 14, 49ers 10

    Our pick: Patriots 27, Dolphins 14

    Our pick: Patriots 21, Jets 17

    Our pick: Patriots 38, Chiefs 13

    If by three you meant "always" then, yes.

    As for being more wrong than right...that's another chapter.

    Posted by Globesportsguysareidiots November 21, 08 12:52 PM
  1. Eric,
    A few typos in your column.
    How about you give me your job and you take mine.

    Posted by Lucy November 21, 08 01:23 PM
  1. Not that I care about any particular commentator's opinion, other than Reiss's, but Merril Hoge has picked the Pats to win only twice all season, Week 1 and Week 3 (against the Fins). I've always thought he disliked the Pats, like Shannon Sharpe clearly does, but I'm not certain why. I also have too much time on my hands to be worrying about this.

    Posted by Mike November 21, 08 01:43 PM
  1. It will be a close game in the 4th quarter. Neither of these teams are that good, but neither of them are that bad either. Though the Patriots are 6-4, their schedule has been a joke. The Jets and Denver are their only 2 real wins. Miami's not that much different. They have a 4 game winning streak, but they won games against Oakland and St. Louis on the last drive of the game when both of them should have been blowouts (Oakland is really, really bad).

    It'll be close in the 4th until Cassell throws a late INT leading to a Miami field goal and a three point win.

    Miami 24, NE 21

    Posted by Mike November 21, 08 01:47 PM
  1. Mike, Miami has not played St. Louis yet but thanks for chimimg in. Miami is good. Good enough to win the AFC Eastern division this year.

    Posted by Bob Griese November 21, 08 02:52 PM
  1. Yizo Yizo
    (South African for "it is what it is")

    Posted by Lekker Bru November 21, 08 03:34 PM

  1. Merrill Hoge picked against the Patriots. Whoa, didn't see that coming.

    Posted by Tim November 21, 08 04:23 PM
  1. South African??? South African is an adjective that describes a citizenship but not a language. I know you don't mean Afrikaan? What do you mean? Ndebele? Sotho? Swazi?

    What are you incorrectly trying to say???

    Posted by Fittstim November 21, 08 04:25 PM
  1. I`ll agree with Bob Griese...Miami is good. But not quite good enough to win the division. NE 35, Miami 24.

    Posted by Kikkoman November 21, 08 05:29 PM
  1. I predict Miami will win this game. Wildcat formation will be used, but not nearly as much as the 1st game. It will be close but Miami will pull through with a 21-17 victory.

    Posted by bk0614 November 21, 08 06:03 PM
  1. Yeah, the Pats lost to the Dolphins 21-0 because Miami had tapes of Brady's audibles. Go figure.

    Posted by Marima November 21, 08 09:53 PM
  1. ay my good friend, who was captured by Sports Illustrated with the beer cardboard with "what jinx" written on it in 85", said......"a few beer, some warm weather in mid fall, a Pats victory, ho-hum. PATS WIN

    Posted by Petey Bumper November 22, 08 09:15 AM
  1. It's unfortunate the Pats are even more banged up since the first game against the FIns, but, I think the Fins may be thinking too much about how they handled the Pats in that game, so there may be a tinge of overconfidence. Look at how Porter is getting REAL mouthy now. Since then, some role players are coming around and I think BB put some "fear in God" into the D-Backs to do a better job. Cassel is much better than he was in the first go round and with Morris back and BJGE the Pats will be better prepared. What could be a close game may turn out to be a surprinsing blowout, Pats will take this one.,

    Posted by AGCSBILL November 22, 08 09:34 AM
  1. Patriots 107 Dolphins 0. Oh wait. This isn't 2007. Here: Patriots 51 Dolphins 7.

    Posted by Chad November 22, 08 09:39 AM
  1. Ahhh, the genius of Belichick.......Last season the Dolphins claimed their undefeated season was better because with a second string quarterback (Earl Morrill) holding down the fort until Bob Griese returned.

    Belichick will go one better and win the Superbowl (Over the Giants BTW, a little payback) with our second string quarterback.

    Wishful thinking???? Just remember, you heard it here first.

    Posted by Jillian November 22, 08 10:40 AM
  1. Afraid NE is going to lose this one, and drop out of contention. They are just too banged up, and Chad Pennington is on a roll in Miami. The Jets should have won by a lot more, they let NE back in the game big time. It could even be worse with Miami, Chad has played tough here before.

    Posted by NE Newb November 22, 08 11:42 AM
  1. I live in South Florida. I've never been to a meaningful Phins Pats game. THE PATS WILL RISE to beat the Dolphins in front of their ornery crowd. My brother and I will protect the young as we leave the heartbroken throngs of Phinfans. I can't wait.
    PATS 27
    DOLPHINS 17

    Posted by ATRAIN November 22, 08 01:12 PM
  1. Professor 10, 8 is probably talking about a slang term, which may correctly be referred to as South African if it originated in South Africa, or is primarily used there and especially if it is used by all the people similarly, although they may speak different languages. There are a lot of terms we use that would correctly be termed American, but not English.

    And I agree with the article. It reminds me of MLB failing to televise Red Sox playoff games on national network tv.

    Posted by hippydippy November 22, 08 02:07 PM
  1. Step 1: Look up Pats score predictions on other websites.
    Step 2: Cut/paste them all together and e-mail to editor.
    In this economy how can the 'Globe' afford to keep people on staff to do that? Are there any more job openings over there????

    Posted by Alfonso Bonzo November 22, 08 04:56 PM
  1. Miami wins this game and beats the Jets to take the division in a dramatic turnaround from the 1-15 season.

    Posted by Mark Weaver November 22, 08 10:43 PM
  1. Pats 41, Dolphins 6

    Dolphins? Run by the Big Tuna?

    Smells fishy to me.

    Posted by dbmedia November 22, 08 11:06 PM
  1. Dolphins 35, Patsies 13

    Perfect.

    Posted by Mercury Morris November 23, 08 12:29 AM
  1. Revenge game for Pats. They never lose those, no matter what dire straits they're in.

    As for thanksgiving, I'm sorry Eric, but the Giants/Titans matchup you pine for isn't going to happen at the drop of a hat. The schedule was made long before Seattle was awful. Yes, Detroit has been awful for a long time, but as soon as they turn the corner, then what?

    Posted by Classless November 23, 08 12:58 AM
  1. You are wrong on this one,Eric.-Last week,after the game,when Fauve was being interviewed,the look on his face said it all.He was searching for words,because he knew the Jets should've lost that gameThe Pats dominated almost every stat .A very,very stupid play in the end awarded them the game.....which reminds me,why don't they change the rules...At the flip of a coin!!.........The other team should also be at allowed to handle the ball,too. But, Cassel,I believe,grew up in that game and his crew witnessed it.I believe they became a team that night.....New England 27,Miami 13

    Posted by Jack ....Melbourne,Fla November 23, 08 09:50 AM
  1. Nothing better than being a Pats, Celtics, Red Sox fan in Seattle (I can't support the Bruins until the owner sells!). Sonics gone, Mariners in the cellar, and the 12th man isn't helping either. At least it's sunny here today! Pats will win this one. They traditionally have a hard time in Miami, but I think a few extra days to prepare will make the difference. Matt has looked very good the last few weeks and I think despite the injury list they will find a way to win.

    Posted by In Seattle but Pats Fan November 23, 08 12:57 PM
  1. Hey bob griese,who's the better team?A banged up New England or a healthy fish!Now we know.

    Posted by cs November 23, 08 10:18 PM
  1. I guess that's the end of Bob Griese's posts here this year.
    Wait till next year, Bob.

    Posted by bill November 23, 08 10:41 PM
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