New England Patriots vs Miami Dolphins Week 15 Pick – NFL December 20

The NFL is set up with another great week of action on Sunday. Twelve games will be up on the board as we get closer and closer to the playoffs. One of these matchups with playoff importance will be between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins. These two teams are fighting for a playoff spot, which should lead to a great game. This game will kick off at around 1:00 PM Eastern time on Sunday.

New England had earned a record of 6-7 this season, which has them sitting in third place of the AFC East. The Patriots are in jeopardy of missing the playoff for the first time since 2008. New England is coming off a loss on Thursday Night Football and will look to use the long break to their advantage. The Patriots will need this win if they want to keep those playoff hopes alive.

The Dolphins have put up a record of 8-5 so far this season, which has them in second place of the AFC East. Miami is looking to earn a playoff spot after missing the postseason three years in a row. The Dolphins are coming off a tight loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, which they will look to bounce back from in this one.

Miami is currently sitting in a playoff spot, while the Patriots are on the outside looking in. New England will look to sweep the season series with the Dolphins on Sunday. The Patriots are about two games back in the AFC Wild Card spot and will look to earn a big win in this one. If the Patriots can earn a win in this one, it will greatly improve their playoff chances.

Previous Matchups

The Patriots and the Dolphins met up in Week 1 of the season in New England. Jordan Howard had the only rushing touchdown for Miami in this matchup. Cam Newton rushed for two touchdowns, while Sony Michel added another rushing touchdown. The Patriots defense was able to hold off the Dolphins to earn a 21-11 win at home.

New England faced off against the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday Night Football in Week 14. Nick Folk scored a field goal for the Patriots, but that was all the points the Patriots could muster. Jared Goff had a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown. Kenny Young had a 79 yard interception return for a touchdown as the Rams won 24-3.

The Dolphins met up with the Kansas City Chiefs last week. Tua Tagovailoa had two passing touchdowns to Mike Gesicki and rushed for another touchdown. Patrick Mahomes had two passing touchdowns on the day as well. Tyreek Hill had a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown, while Mecole Hardman had a punt return for a touchdown. The Chiefs were able to hold on for a 33-27 win.

These two teams are coming off losses from earlier in the week. This will be the first time in Tagovailoa’s career he meets up with the New England Patriots. Ryan Fitzpatrick played in the Week 1 loss. Tagovailoa kept up with Patrick Mahomes last week and will look for that momentum to carry over in this one. The Patriots offense could not get anything going last week and will look to bounce back in this one.

Quarterback Comparison

Cam Newton has taken over as the starter in New England after Tom Brady departed in the offseason. Newton has struggled this season, throwing for 2172 yards, 5 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Newton has rushed for 451 yards and 11 touchdowns though. Newton went 9-16 for 119 yards and an interception before being benched in last week’s loss.

The Dolphins have injected Tua Tagovailoa into the starting role. Tagovailoa has started in six of Miami’s games, putting up a record of 4-2. Tagovailoa has thrown for 1214 yards, 9 touchdowns and 1 interception so far this season. Last week he went 28-48 for 316 yards, 3 total touchdowns and 1 interception.

Miami has a slight edge with Tagovailoa at the QB spot. Cam Newton has been able to run well throughout this season, but has not done a great job throwing the ball this season. Newton had 15 total turnovers this season and needs to limit them greatly if the Patriots are going to make a playoff push. Tagovailoa has done a great job avoiding turnovers this season and will look to keep that up as the season draws to a close.

Defensive Battle

The Patriots offense has not been able to generate much this season, but their defense has stayed strong. New England has scored 277 points and gained 4328 yards of offense, which are 26th and 24th in the league this season. The Patriots have held opposing teams to 279 points, which is 7th in the NFL. New England has only given up 4453 yards, which is 10th in the league.

Miami’s offense has not been great either throughout this season, but like New England, their defense has been dangerous. The Dolphins have scored 330 points, which is 15th in the NFL. Miami has only gained 4204 yards, which is 27th in the league. The Dolphins have given up 245 points and 4710 yards of offense, which are 2nd and 18th in the NFL.

The Dolphins defense has been able to be a turnover machine this season. Miami has been difficult to score on because of that. Going up against New England’s offense, which has given up the ball a lot this season, could be a match made in heaven for Miami. Cam Newton will need to take care of the ball in this one, or the Patriots could see their playoff hopes disappear.

Pick Overview

Miami and New England met up in Week 1 of this season, but the Dolphins have improved a lot entering this one. Miami was able to go toe to toe with Kansas City last week and I believe they will carry that momentum over in this one. The Dolphins defense has stepped up throughout this season and with the offense finding a rhythm, I believe they will be tough to stop.

BetOnline has Miami listed as a -1 ½ against the spread this week. This gives a slight edge to the Dolphins at home in this one. The Patriots have not been the best this season, but their defense has been huge. I think that Miami’s offense can outperform a struggling New England squad in this one as they look to stay in a wild card position entering the last two weeks.

Miami Dolphins -1.5
Andruw Burling / Author

Andruw Burling has been writing sports picks since 2017, covering mainly NHL and NBA content, but doing work in other sports as well. Andruw grew up in Las Vegas and has been around sports since a young age. He grew up a huge NHL and NBA fan and continues to use that knowledge in his content today.