Experts are giving their NFL Week 4 picks, and the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots game is giving an intriguing spread. On Sunday, the 3-0 Miami Dolphins will travel to Gillette Stadium to take on the 1-2 New England Patriots. The Sunday football action airs on CBS at 1 p.m. EST.
You know it’s a weird NFL season when the Patriots are entering this meeting with a losing record and the Dolphins are undefeated. Miami comes into this game 3-0 for the first time since 2013. New England just felt a pair of back-to-back losses for the first time since 2015, and they haven’t been 1-2 since 2012. The last time these two teams played was in December of 2017, and the Dolphins got the W with a final score of 27-20. These two divisional teams have a rich history with one another, and they have played each other a total of 105 times in NFL history. The Dolphins lead the Patriots 54-51.
The Patriots Struggling On Both Sides Of The Ball
In the first week of NFL action, New England started things off on a positive note by beating an unimpressive Houston Texans team by just a touchdown, closing the game out 27-20. They then suffered a loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars (31-20). In Week 3, the Patriots gave the struggling Detroit Lions their only victory this young season (26-10).
Against Detroit, Tom Brady had a mediocre performance, completing 14 of his 26 passes for one touchdown and one interception. Sony Michel led the ground report with 14 carries for 50 yards. Running back James White didn’t do much on the ground, but he did have three receptions for 14 yards and managed to give the Patriots their only touchdown of the game. Rob Gronkowski had four receptions for 51 yards, and he has only logged 189 receiving yards this NFL season.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) September 25, 2018
There was a time in the Patriots franchise where it seemed that no matter who was missing from a game, including Tom Brady when he was suspended in 2015, head coach Bill Belichick would figure out a game plan for New England to find the W. It seems that ship has sailed for the Patriots, at least, in this NFL season, as they are clearly struggling on offense without Julian Edelman as a weapon on the field. As the Boston Globe reported, Edelman was given a four-game suspension this season for “a violation of the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.”
Things aren’t better for the New England defense. The Patriots gave up 414 yards to the Lions, and 159 of those were rushing yards. Patrick Chung’s and Trey Flowers’ absences in the Detroit game were felt, and they are both questionable in Week 4. The New England defense is allowing 25.7 points on average per game, ranking the defense 21st overall in the NFL. The Patriots rush defense ranks 30th in the NFL, and their pass defense comes in at 24th.
The Dolphins’ D Limits Their Opponents
In Weeks 1-3 in the NFL regular season, Miami beat the Titans 27-20, the Jets 20-12, and the Raiders 28-20. While some of those victories are to be expected, the Dolphins managed to do something that the Patriots haven’t done this season, beat the weaker teams they are supposed to beat. Against Oakland, quarterback Ryan Tannehill looked great, completing 17 of his 23 passes for 289 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Tannehill also led the ground report with three carries for 26 yards.
Albert Wilson found two receptions for 74 yards and one touchdown. Jakeem Grant logged two receptions for 70 yards and two touchdowns. Kenny Stills produced three receptions for 61 yards and one touchdown. As a unit, the Dolphins are averaging 25 points per game, ranking them 11th in the NFL.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) September 23, 2018
Defensively, the Dolphins allowed 345 passing yards against Oakland, but they also managed two interceptions and three sacks. Miami’s D is great against the run, but they are struggling a bit in the air. Kiko Alonso leads the defense with 34 tackles this NFL season. The Dolphins are keeping their opponents to 17.3 points per game on average, ranking them sixth in the NFL.
NFL Week 4 Picks & Odds For Miami Dolphins At New England Patriots
As far as the books are concerned, most of the money is backing the New England Patriots by a narrow margin, but the expert picks are headed in the opposite direction. It’s hard for some fans to back the Dolphins, as many people are expecting the Patriots to click into gear at any moment. While that may happen, Miami has a defense that is holding their opponents to 20 points or fewer this season, and many pundits are expecting a close game on Sunday. As of the time of this writing, the Patriots are favored at -7, and the majority of expert picks are suggesting to take the points and back the Dolphins in what will likely be a close game.