Despite the Patriots have problems along their offensive line, not having a lot of depth at WR, and lacking talent at several positions defensively, they do have 3 things. 1) Tom Brady. 2) Weapons for Brady. 3) Bill Bellichick.
For those three reasons, I have had the Patriots as my pick to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl (AGAIN!) since the start of the season. I don't care that they don't have as much talent at as many positions as Houston or Baltimore. New England is the most well coached and run team in the AFC, and have elite talent where it matters.
While they do give up a lot of yards defensively, the Patriots are 2nd in the NFL in turnovers, (just one behind the Bears). They also have 5 TD's on defense, and two on special teams. In other words, they're scoring at a better rate than 1 non-offensive TD every other game. Combine that with their offense being on an absolute tear, and you get a machine that has scored a whopping 190 points in their last 4 games (49, 52, 37, 45). Miami has 211 points ALL SEASON.
In order to beat the Patriots you MUST take care of the football and give Brady the least amount of possessions possible. The problem? Like I said earlier, NE takes the ball away better than any team outside Chicago and Miami gives the ball away 2nd most in the AFC, with 21 turnovers on the season. Not only that, but keeping your offense on the field against the Patriots won't be easy; NE ranks in the top 10 in both yards per carry and rushing yards per game allowed. They've also allowed a long run of just 20 yards on the season, (best in the NFL). The Dolphins are 20th in the league in yards per attempt right now at 3.9.
In other words, Tannehill is going to have to be the QB we saw in the 4th quarter against Seattle...for 4 quarters...and better.
The other thing you have to do is create turnovers defensively. As you might have guessed, I have a problem for that too. The Patriots have the least amount of giveaways in the entire league. Brady has only thrown three interceptions all season. On top of that, the Dolphins are 29th in takeaways.
Every number points the way of the Patriots. The Dolphins, despite a good 4th quarter against Seattle, have been in a funk the last month or so. New England has been the most dominant team in football the past month.
With all that said, Brady is 0-3 in December games in Miami...Including this loss:
If that Dolphins team could do it, so can this one....I think....I hope....I pray....We'll see.