USA Today: 4-of-7 picked Dolphins
ESPN: 7-of-13 picked Dolphins
CBS Sports: 5-of-8 picked Dolphins
Fox Sports: 3-of-4 picked Patriots
Two consecutive road wins have made the Dolphins a trendy upset pick against the Patriots in Week 15. If history has taught us anything, though, that might not bode well for Miami. The Patriots have thrived under Bill Belichick when the odds have been stacked against them in recent years. But for some reason, the optimism surrounding the Dolphins heading into this game feels more genuine.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is playing the most consistent football of his young career, which has been a product of his own doing in addition to improved pass protection and a reliable running game. The Dolphins’ defense has also flashed the ability to dominate a game with a disruptive pass rush, stingy coverage and a knack for forcing turnovers.
Despite a 10-3 record, there’s reason to believe the Patriots are formidable but not the elite team of old. Another devastating injury — this one to star tight end Rob Gronkowski – has left a once talented roster void of true game changers and in need of Tom Brady‘s brilliance to pull out victories.
The Patriots have had to overcome double-digit deficits in each of their past three wins. On Sunday in Miami, the hole becomes too deep to dig out of. Tannehill makes a statement that signifies his arrival as a legitimate franchise quarterback. The Dolphins’ talented defensive front preys on an injury-depleted Patriots offensive line. Miami moves one step closer to the postseason.
THE PICK: Miami 27, New England 20
Cody Strahm is a Miami Dolphins contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @CodyJStrahm.