“Hopefully we’ll laugh about it later”. – Mark Sanchez
Ah, but move on, we must.
This week’s picks
Greg Cote, Miami Herald: Patriots 30, Dolphins 24. “As Week 13 unfurls, I have to believe my struggle forecasting Dolphins games this year is rooted in over-analysis, too much thinking. Or am I over-analyzing in thinking that? Anyway, let’s keep this one simple. Tom Brady’s TD/INT ratio (24-3) is so good it should be illegal, and the Patriots offense is so good it normally is approaching 30 points by pregame warmups. England’s defense is better than advertised, too, its 32 takeaways ranking second in the league. Oh, did I mention that Bill Belichick is a pretty good coach even when he hasn’t had extra time to prepare after playing on Thanksgiving? Pats clinch AFC East title with a win here, and have swept this series the past two seasons and won eight of past 10 vs. Miami. But I still like the home ’dog getting a touchdown-plus in a physical division rivalry. A bigger and louder than typical home crowd also should give Miami some tailwind. Who cares if a bunch of the crowd is Pats fans? Dolphins will keep it close.”
Peter King, Sports Illustrated: Patriots 38, Dolphins 20. “The Pats have averaged 47.5 points a game over the last month. Miami is scoring 19.2 a game. The Dolphins’ only hope, I believe, is rolling their big back, Daniel Thomas, out against the stout Patriots interior and seeing if he can eat the clock. (Figuratively.)”
ESPN.com staff: Patriots across the board.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports.com: Patriots 31, Dolphins 17. “The Dolphins are still alive after beating the Seahawks last week, but this is a tough task against their division rival. The Patriots can lock up the AFC East with a victory and they are playing at a high level. Can the Dolphins stop Tom Brady? Not likely. They won’t even slow him.”
CBS Sports.com staff: Six out of eight pick the Pats (New England by 8 ½).
Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk.com: Patriots 35, Dolphins 24. “The Dolphins will win if the sprinklers come on again. And if they are loaded with hydrochloric acid and aimed at the eyes of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Otherwise, advantage Pats.”
Michael David Smith, ProFootballTalk.com: Patriots 38, Dolphins 28. “I like a lot about the way the Dolphins are playing, especially defensively. And the Patriots’ secondary has a bad tendency to leave receivers wide open, so Ryan Tannehill may have a decent statistical game. But New England’s offense is such a well-oiled machine that I like the Patriots to get into the end zone five or six times.”
USA Today staff: All Pats.
Yahoo! sports staff: Two of three pick the Patriots. Mike Silver digs the Dolphins.
Peter Schrager, Foxsports.com : Patriots 35, Dolphins 17. “Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle had a great response when asked about how he planned on stopping Tom Brady this weekend: “I’m open to anyone’s suggestions.” I’ve got none. Brady’s been lights-out since the loss in Seattle. The Patriots have put up 109 points the last two weeks, Vince Wilfork is in the running for Defensive Player of the Year, and New England’s looking better each week. At 5-6, Miami’s still in the AFC playoff picture, but there’s a better chance of those sprinklers going off again than them beating the Patriots on Sunday.”
It says here: Patriots 35, Dolphins 30. T-shirts on sale Monday.