Game Predictions & Player Projections - NE vs MIA

Game Predictions & Player Projections - NE vs MIA


Game Predictions & Player Projections - NE vs MIA


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Prediction: NE 27, MIA 20 (Line: NE by 5)

UPDATE: Tom Brady is questionable for what will be the first of likely 16 times but he is expected to play with no problem. Rob Gronkowski is expected to play though he will likely be limited in how many plays he is given. This too is the first week of wondering how much Gronk will do.

The Patriots were on a seven game winning streak over the Fins until this matchup last December when the Dolphins won 24-20. If there is one team you hate to see show up on opening week, it has to be the Bill Belichick team because they are always so prepared.

New England Patriots

1 @MIA —– 10 BYE —–
2 @MIN —– 11 @IND —–
3 OAK —– 12 DET —–
4 @KC —– 13 @GB —–
5 CIN —– 14 @SD —–
6 @BUF —– 15 MIA —–
7 NYJ —– 16 @NYJ —–
8 CHI —– 17 BUF —–
9 DEN —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
NE @ MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 300,2
WR Danny Amendola 6-80
WR Julian Edelman 8-100,1
WR Nate Washington 3-30
TE Martellus Bennett 3-40
TE Rob Gronkowski 6-70,1
PK Stephen Gostkowski 2 FG 3 XP

No major changes happened to the offense in the offseason and the same set of starters return. The Patriots have picked up new depth players but Tom Brady and the same crew appear in week one only this time they are all healthy. Or in the case of Rob Gronkowski, “healthy-ish”. Injuries and vacant lot murders have forced the roster to remain in flux for nearly two years now but this should be a much less challenging season.

Tom Brady fell from his elite status last year when he only managed 4343 passing yards and 25 touchdowns – certainly good but not at all great. He scored more than twice in only two games and three weeks saw him never score at all. At 37 years of age, Brady is getting near the end as well but his production decline has been related to that changing roster and the fact that the Pats are getting the job done with one of the most productive rushing units in the league. Brady passed for 364 yards and two scores in Miami last year. He was held to only 116 yards and one score in the home meeting though.

That rushing unit is led by Shane “now you see me, now you don’t Vereen who has never ran more than 62 times in any season or had more than 113 touches. After three NFL seasons, he has only played in 26 of 48 thanks to continual injury problems. He has been wildly productive when playing, especially as a receiver. He’s just impossible to rely on.

Steven Ridley fell from grace thanks to multiple touchdowns but rumors he would be cut were unfounded and he remains in the rotation albeit a smaller part .LeGarrette Blount left for Pittsburgh so he can be the next ex-Pats back who flops when not taking handoff’s from Tom Brady. New England used their 4.30 pick on James White from Wisconsin. He impressed early in the preseason but then lost some steam through the preseason games. He could still end up as a surprise but we won’t know that until Vereen goes out injured again and a successor is sought. This will be a committed regardless who is available. But Vereen is the only safe play and even then only until his next injury.

The Pats had no runner gain more than 47 yards in Miami last year and none scored.

Rob Gronkowski is eight months removed from his ACL and MCL surgery and was rarely seen in the preseason. His status for this week was not disclosed but he is expected to play and yet not all the snaps. What that means only Bill knows. He has been cleared to play, the question is how gingerly do they proceed with him on the field.

The Pats also acquired Tim Wright to fill the “move” tight end roll vacated by the tight end Who-Has-No-Name. Small sample size but the coaches were very pleased with him once they saw what they just bought. His role could grow during the year and should Gronk remain an injury problem, Wright at least gives this a new option.

Michael Hoomanawanui scored on his only catch in Miami. Gronkowski did not play in that game.

No one knew to guess Julian Edelman as the next great Patriot wideout because he had four seasons there that said his 105-1056-6 simply wasn’t possible. Danny Amendola remained true to himself when he came over from the Rams and ended up missing four games due to injury. He’s always been a blown out knee waiting to happen. The hope is that second year receiver Aaron Dobson becomes a factor soon as he remains healthy and improves. The Pats have high hopes for him and he has flashed potential. Danny Amendola managed 131 yards on ten catches in Miami while Edelman served up 139 yards and a score on his 13 receptions.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Standard matchup and a repeat of last year. Brady, Gronk, Vereen and Edelman are must starts regardless of venue and already had success against the Fins.

Gaining Fantasy Points NE 20 2 10 21 1 11
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 6 20 5 28 27 20

Miami Dolphins

1 NE —– 10 @DET —–
2 @BUF —– 11 BUF —–
3 KC —– 12 @DEN —–
4 @OAK —– 13 @NYJ —–
5 BYE —– 14 BAL —–
6 GB —– 15 @NE —–
7 @CHI —– 16 MIN —–
8 @JAC —– 17 NYJ —–
9 SD —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
MIA vs NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Tannehill 20 250,1
WR Greg Jennings 6-50
WR Kenny Stills
TE Jordan Cameron 5-60,1

The Fins brought in Bill Lazor from the Eagles to direct the offense and work with Ryan Tannehill. Installing a scheme with more “Philly-esque” features is beneficial so long as the quarterback can handle the responsibilities. Lazor already made Foles much better, now it is time for Tannehill to take that next step. The personnel here is unchanged aside from adding Knowshon Moreno.

Tannehill was the 1.08 pick in 2012, right behind Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Last year he finished with 3913 yards and 24 touchdowns so he’s already making progress. The Dolphins already gave him the most overpaid wide receiver in the NFL with Mike Wallace. He has the weapons for better play and there is hope that Lazor can unleash the inner stud quarterback in him just as he did with Nick Foles. Tannehill passed for 312 yards and three scores when the Pats visited last year.

The backfield bears watching since there are greatly conflicting reports about who looks good or bad, who is the primary or the secondary and just how well this unit is expected to perform. Moreno came over after a career best season with 1586 total yards and 13 touchdowns, He was expected to just move into the starting role but a knee injury robbed him of much valuable time in camp. Lamar Miller is the first official starter but that only describes who touches the ball first, not who touches it the most. Miller has a 4.5 YPC over his two year career but never ran more than 177 times in a season and scored only three times in two years. If the Dolphins use an offense that in any way reflects the Eagles, then the starting running back is going to be a major contributor. This is one of the more interesting first week watches to see how both look and how they are used. Miller ran for 89 yards on 18 carries versus the Pats and later went for 61 yards on 15 runs in New England.

Mike Wallace and Tannehill have struggled to get on the same page and that persisted through training camp again. Wallace suffered a hamstring injury earlier in camp but is now healed. He ended with 73-930-7 but that was less than expected. It was even less than Brian Hartline (76-1016-4) who is pulling down over $10 million less than Wallace this year. Wallace ended with 105 yards and a score on six catches versus the visiting Pats while Hartline accounted for 70 yards on five receptions.

Charles Clay was a nice surprise last year when he ended with 69-759-7 but he never gained more than 37 yards in a game with the Pats last year.

It will be interesting to see what the new offense looks like and if it can unlock Tannehill and Wallace’s potential. And if Moreno can once again surprise by taking over a backfield.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: There is no real fantasy star here and the best wideout in Wallace gets to dance with Darrelle Revis this week which will all but shut him down. The Pats upgraded their secondary and it will show this week. Even in this home game, there is no attractive fantasy play to be had here. Mostly just a watch to see if the new offense will make a difference and help to create a few fantasy “must-haves”.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 19 32 12 11 23 22
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 20 21 13 17 6 10

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