Friday, December 23, 2011
ESPN's Pats-Dolphins prediction roundup
A roundup of how ESPN's analysts see Saturday’s Patriots-Dolphins game playing out:
* ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss: Patriots 27, Dolphins 23. This should be a good test for the Patriots’ high-powered offense and I could see this being more of a low-scoring game. The Patriots’ defense hasn’t been strong against the run and now they face Reggie Bush, the AFC Offensive Player of the Week after that 203-yard rushing performance. While it might be close, I’ll still take Tom Brady and Co. in the end.
* ESPNBoston.com Patriots analyst Tedy Bruschi: Patriots 31, Dolphins 20. The playoff picture continues to look better and better for the Patriots. Their worst enemy is themselves this week. It will be interesting to see this defense without Andre Carter. I expect to see a focused team to beat the Dolphins.
* ESPNBoston.com’s Chris Forsberg: Patriots 27, Dolphins 13. In the holiday spirit, the Patriots should station a Santa Claus in each end zone. When Rob Gronkowski scores a touchdown, Santa rushes over and opens a sack, allowing Gronkowski to spike the ball into it, spreading holiday cheer throughout New England. Hey, the Patriots don't lose in December at Gillette Stadium, so might as well spice this one up a bit somehow.
* ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Rodak: Patriots 28, Dolphins 14. They may have been naughty in the first quarter last week, but the Patriots will be sipping eggnog on the sideline by the second half after putting the bow on their 12th win of the season. The playoff tickets are already under the tree, but will the AFC's top sled be found in Foxborough? That one might have to wait until New Year's.
* ESPN Boston Radio’s Andrew Brooks: Patriots 34, Dolphins 13. The Patriots proved they could beat a playoff caliber team on the road last week, and did so handily. It was the first game they played a quality second half in a while and they will carry that momentum into this week against Miami. The Pats are only favored by 9 but it should be more. Chad Ochocinco will once again be in awe of this offense.
* Sunday Countdown: Tom Jackson, Mike Ditka, Cris Carter and Keyshawn Johnson pick the Patriots.
* AccuScore simulations: Patriots 30, Dolphins 18 (average of more than 10,000 simulations). Click HERE to simulate the game yourself.
* Madden 12 simulation: Patriots 38, Dolphins 27. With the game tied at 17 at the half, Tom Brady stormed out of the tunnel and threw two second-half touchdown passes to help New England earn the 38-27 victory. Brady finished the game throwing for 361 yards and four touchdowns, including two to tight-end scoring machine, Rob Gronkowski, as the Patriots try to position themselves for a long postseason run.