Things got a bit more interesting in the AFC East after last week’s action. The Miami Dolphins took it on the chin at Philadelphia, but the Buffalo Bills lost to the struggling New England Patriots. Now every team in the division has at least two losses.
Speaking of Bill Belichick’s club, it will be looking to avenge an earlier loss to the Dolphins this season. It won’t be easy considering the Pats are 2-8 in their last 10 appearances in South Florida. Meanwhile, how will Mike McDaniel’s club respond to last Sunday’s humbling loss to the Eagles?
The Last Time
Dolphins 24, Patriots 17 (Week 2): Mike McDaniel’s team was on the road for the second straight week. Opposed to the Week 1 win over the Chargers, the Dolphins held on for a victory at Foxborough thanks mainly to the ground game. Raheem Mostert carried 18 times for 121 yards and two TDs. The Dolphins sacked Patriots’ quarterback Mac Jones four times and forced two turnovers in the Sunday night win.
If the previous 10 seasons are any indication, the Patriots should even the score on Sunday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium. From 2013-22, these two longtime AFC East rivals split their two-game series eight times in 10 seasons. However, dating back to the clubs’ second encounter in 2019, the Dolphins own an impressive 6-2 mark over Belichick’s team. That includes three straight home wins dating back to 2020.
Key to the Game
Keeping New England’s defense off-balance will be huge in this game. The Dolphins wound up being very one-dimensional vs. the Eagles, totaling season-lows in rushing attempts (12) and yards (45). McDaniel’s club ran a season-low 48 offensive plays, gained a mere 244 yards, and held the ball for only 23:17. The Patriots’ defensive front is formidable, but the Dolphins must be more patient than they were last week.
Dolphins Player to Watch
In last week’s loss at Philadelphia, Tua Tagovailoa totaled a season-low 216 passing yards. He threw a TD pass to Tyreek Hill but was picked off once and sacked three times. Miami’s injury-plagued offensive line played a big part in the team’s issues on this side of the ball. Four of Tagovailoa’s six interceptions in 2023 have come in the last four games. However, the Pats have picked off only three passes in seven games.
Around the AFC East
Week 8 for the division got off to an early start when the Buffalo Bills held on to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 24-18, on Thursday night at Orchard Park. The win raised the Bills’ record to 5-3. On Sunday afternoon, the 3-3 New York Jets, off last week, are the visiting team in their interconference showdown with the 2-5 New York Giants. Robert Saleh’s club has won two straight games after losing three in a row.