The AFC East enters the national spotlight tonight in a Thursday Night showdown between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins. The Patriots (6-0) will be looking to continue their dominance over the rest of the league, including a sweep of the first half of their three home-and-home series against the rest of the division. Miami (3-3) will be attempting to continue their hot streak following the change of head coach Joe Philbin for interim head coach Dan Campbell, a move that has seen the Dolphins explode on both offense and defense in two straight blowout wins. Which will continue?
Each week, we ask the Phinsider contributors to give us their prediction for the game, and as you to do the same. Below, you will find our predictions and the weekly Crowds Line widget for you to make your own scoring prediction. SB Nation is tracking how well each team's blog predicts their scores throughout the season, with all of the managing editors hoping to gain bragging rights.
On to the predictions:
Dolphins 24 - Patriots 31
Miami is for sure playing better under new head coach Dan Campbell but...Well the but is we are playing still possibly the best or one of the top 2/3 best teams in the entire NFL in their house where they hardly ever lose. I see the Dolphins being much more competative than they would have been if we had played them four weeks ago but in the end we still lose by a touchdown. I hope I am wrong!
Dolphins 34 - Patriots 31
Dolphins are playing like one of the best NFL teams and I'm interested to see what they do against a tougher opponent. Yes, they beat two bad teams, but the Dolphins won by a substantial margin in each game. That's what good teams do, they take care of the weaker teams. I really think this is going to be a close game. The Dolphins are playing great in all phases of the game and Ryan Tannehill is playing sharp football. With the reemergence of the run game, the Dolphins have a deadly, balanced offense. The defense is playing great up front and Reshad Jones is playing at an All-Pro level (he needs to be voted to the Pro Bowl already). I think Tom Brady will give us a tough time but I stil expect the Dolphins to win with a FG by Andrew Franks.
Brian "Turtle" Naidus
Dolphins 31 - Patriots 34
Playing like one of the best teams in football, Miami has as about as good as chance as anybody in the league to upset the Patriots at home. Unfortunately, I don't think any team beats the Patriots at home at the moment, and I expect Tom Brady's "F YOU GOODELL" tour to continue to march on for another undefeated week. I expect a close tough game, and people will still be high on the Dolphins chances in the AFC this year, even if they can't pull off the upset on a short week. I'll give the edge to the defending champions in their house, but Miami has a legitimate shot to shock the NFL and notch their first divisional victory in the most unlikely of ways.
Dolphins 27 - Patriots 24
Color me convinced, Dan Campbell has these guys finally playing up to their capabilities. I feel like the Dolphins can play with anyone right now and this will be a great chance to prove it. It's not going to be easy, but I can easily see them catching a break late (FINALLY) with the good karma of playing hard. The offense, defense and special teams does just enough to get a tough win on the road.
Dolphins 33 - Patriot 28
I'm going to absolutely make a homer pick here. The Dolphins typically split the season series with the Patriots, at least the last couple of years, and that usually happens with both teams winning at home. I think that is most likely the way it happens again this year, but I am going to say that the Dolphins, riding this emotional high they are on right now, somehow pull off the upset in Foxboro and come out of Week 8 on a three-game winning streak. Why not, right? If anyone can pull off the win, it is probably the Dolphins who always play the Patriots tough.