Week 8 is here, and so is the 117th meeting between the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots.
This is the second time in six weeks these longtime rivals face off, with the Dolphins winning 24-17 in Week 2 on the road.
The Dolphins (5-2) enter Week 8 as the AFC’s second seed. At 2-5, no team in the conference has a worse record than the Patriots.
Miami Dolphins vs. Philadelphia Eagles Game Preview
The Dolphins are 9.5-point home favorites, but there’s reason to believe this won’t be a cakewalk.
Bill Belichick’s club just played its best game of the year, beating the Buffalo Bills 29-25 — which is a dramatic turnaround from Weeks 4 and 5, when the Pats lost by a combined 69 points to the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints.
Working against New England (beyond Miami’s superior talent)? The Dolphins are 15-2 in their last 17 home games and lead the league in home point differential (+86) in 2023.
Here are seven more stats to know ahead of Patriots-Dolphins, courtesy of Inside Edge.
Seven Patriots-Dolphins Stats From Inside Edge
Stat: Patriots running backs have averaged just 1.5 yards after contact per carry since the 2022 season — tied for fourth-worst in the NFL. The Dolphins have allowed just 1.5 yards after contact per carry to RBs since the 2022 season — tied for fourth-best in the NFL.
Analysis: After a bad Week 1, the Dolphins’ run defense has been respectable — and even really good at times. They held Eagles running backs to 3.4 yards per carry last week.
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) October 23, 2023
Stat: The Dolphins have run successful plays on 41.2% of pass attempts when their quarterback was under pressure since Week 18 of the 2022 season — third-best in the NFL. The Patriots have pressured opposing quarterbacks on just 19.2% of passing plays since Week 18 of the 2022 Season — fourth-worst in the NFL.
Analysis: That’s an encouraging stat for a Dolphins offensive line that has been solid this year but will be without at least two starters in Week 8. It’ll be interesting to see how they fare without Isaiah Wynn at left guard.
Stat: Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins) has scored 17.8 fantasy points per game at home since the 2022 season — 10th-best of qualified quarterbacks. Patriots have allowed an average of 16.9 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs on the road since the 2022 season — fifth-worst in the NFL.
Analysis: Even after a hiccup in Week 7 — which, frankly, was largely not his fault — Tua still ranks first in yards per game (298.9), yards per pass (9.1), and passer rating (110.4).
Stat: The Dolphins have allowed opponents to pressure their quarterback on 18.3% of pass attempts since Week 18 of the 2022 Season — tied for third-best in the NFL. The Patriots have pressured opposing QBs on just 19.2% of passing plays since Week 18 of the 2022 Season — fourth-worst in the NFL.
Analysis: The Patriots’ pass rush is not good. They have the league’s fifth-worst sacks-per-game average (1.9), the seventh-worst sack rate (5.6%), and are in the bottom 10 in pass-rush win rate (39%). New England needs a big game from Matt Judon.
Stat: The Dolphins are averaging just 1.5 yards per carry on third and short since the 2022 season — worst in the NFL. The Patriots have allowed just 2.5 yards per carry when defending on third and short since the 2022 season — third-best in the NFL.
Analysis: A big narrative after the Eagles loss was that the Dolphins simply cannot handle physical teams. That’s a bit overblown, but this stat certainly backs up that argument.
MORE: Is This Emmanuel Ogbah’s Last Game With Miami Dolphins?
Stat: Raheem Mostert (Dolphins) is averaging 6.6 yards per carry on first down this season — second-best of 32 qualified NFL running backs. The Patriots defense has allowed 13 rushing TDs on 890 carries to RBs since the 2021 season — best carries-per-TD rate in the NFL.
Analysis: It’s strength vs. strength Sunday. The Dolphins lead the league in yards per carry (6.3). The Patriots lead the league in yards per carry allowed (3.4).
Stat: Tyreek Hill (Dolphins) has 39 receptions for 20 or more yards since the 2022 season — second-most among NFL WRs. The Patriots defense has allowed a passer rating of just 51.8 on third and long since the 2021 season — best in the NFL.
Analysis: The Patriots haven’t done a lot consistently right over the last five years, but building an elite secondary is on that shortlist. It’s a good thing for Miami that Hill is on track to play after missing Wednesday’s practice with a hip injury.
Patriots vs. Dolphins Predictions
Adam Beasley: Dolphins
David Bearman: Dolphins
Dalton Miller: Dolphins
Dallas Morrison: Dolphins
Jay Robinson: Dolphins
For all of PFN’s Week 8 predictions, click here.
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