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Prediction roundup

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff September 19, 2008 09:27 AM

I think lost in all the hubbub in these parts last season was just how close we came to actually witnessing perfection.

No, not here. Miami.

If not for Baltimore laying a stinker last December, the Dolphins would come into Sunday’s game against the Patriots 0 for their last 21 games, including a tidy 0-16 season last year. They might have held a town meeting on the subject, but I’m not sure Mercury Morris and crew could have kept them from moving in to Perfectville. There goes the neighborhood, and all.

The last time the Patriots lost to a team not named the New York Giants or Indianapolis Colts (both stinging playoff losses), it was in Miami, back on Dec. 10, 2006. Since then, New England has not lost a regular-season game. Miami has won one.

You can see where Joey Porter is getting his fuel.

“It’ll be good to go out there and get our first victory,” Porter said this week, in between his tired smack directed at Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel.

I think Anthony Smith just cringed.

In any case, New England heads into the bye with a layup vs. Miami, and comes back with a seemingly easy time against the 49ers. Then comes the toughest stretch of the season – a four-week period during which the Patriots face the Chargers, Broncos, and Colts. Even the most tried and true Pats fan might lean toward assuming that they drop one of those games, likely ending the regular-season winning streak and any dreams of another run at 19-0.

But in Miami, there’s still a chance. And for one more week, the dream lives on.

Who they're picking

Our roundup of writers' picks in this week's Dolphins-Patriots showdown:

Jim McCabe, Boston Globe: Patriots. “Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown have combined to run 38 times for 100 yards, a 2.63 average per carry. At this rate they should crack 1,000 yards by August 2009.”

Peter King, Sports Illustrated: Patriots 33, Dolphins 7. “Who'd have ever thought in Week 3, by the middle of the third quarter, the Pats-Fish would be a Cassel-Henne duel? By the way, do you think it's possible that, before the game, Bill Belichick sidles up to Matt Cassel and says, 'We're taking the training wheels off today, kid?' Not sure those words will be spoken, but I do think you'll see three deep throws to Randy Moss this weekend.”

ESPN.com staff: Patriots across the board.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: Patriots 27, Dolphins 7. “The Patriots will go to 3-0 here. But it will be interesting to see if they use this game as a test to see if Matt Cassel can do more as a passer. I think they do, and it will work. The Dolphins are playing back-to-back roadies.”

CBS Sports staff: Five of six pick the Patriots to cover.

Cold, Hard, Football Facts: Patriots 27, Dolphins 12. “After opening as underdogs last week, the Patriots return to the familiar role of double-digit favorites. Matt Cassel makes his second start at quarterback and gets to test a Dolphins defense that is allowing nearly 12 yards per passing attempt, easily the worst in the league. New England will likely open up the playbook and finally crack the 20-point plateau.”

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Patriots 24, Dolphins 10. “Meet the new Bill Belichick Patriots, same as the old Belichick Patriots -- they're all about winning. Tom Brady gave them plenty of style points; they're just asking Matt Cassel to give them error-free outings, leaning on his backs, receivers and defense to keep the Pats ahead at the end. It also helps that they won't get tested much on their schedule, which continues with the floundering Fins.”

USA Today staff: Patriots across the board.

Greg Cote, Miami Herald: Patriots 24, Dolphins 9. “Dolphins LB Joey Porter, not the player he once was but still among league leaders in loud, said this week of facing Pats QB Matt Cassel: 'If it's not Tom Brady it shouldn't be that hard.' And said, 'It'll be good to go out and get our first victory.' Now as guarantees go that's tepid; he's no Joey Namath. But that's still fairly audacious talk, almost comically so. Dear Porter: New England is, like, really good, even sans Tom Terrific. And your team has lost 20 of its past 21 games. Miami coach Tony Sparano said he didn't sleep after Sunday's loss at Arizona? One suspects the prospect of facing a Patriots team on the road -- a team with Randy Moss and a great defensive front, and a team now freshly riled by Porter -- hasn't exactly worked for ol' Tony like a Sominex tablet.”

King Kaufman, Salon.com: Patriots. “I actually have a funny feeling the Dolphins could win this game. That's why I went with the other option.”

Yahoo! staff: Jason Cole and Charles Robinson go with the Patriots. Michael Silver picks the Dolphins.

Peter Schrager, Foxsports.com: Patriots 23, Dolphins 10. “Over his career, Chad Pennington is 2-1 in New England and has completed 64 of 96 passes (66.7 percent) with four touchdowns and just one interception. Throw that all out the window on Sunday. It's the Matty 'Moose' Cassel train, baby. Get on board before it's too late.”

Nancy Gay, San Francisco Chronicle: Patriots. “Matt Cassel has been adept at executing the short passing game with Wes Welker and running back Kevin Faulk.”

Jerry Magee, San Diego Tribune: Patriots. “A season long on parity makes taking the points preferable when there are this many of them.”

T-Bone: Patriots.

Our pick: Patriots 27, Dolphins 14. Miami coach Tony Sparano was the offensive coordinator for the 11-0 Boston University Terriers in 1993. On Sunday, he’ll find the BU football team still as nonexistent as his first win.

29 comments so far...
  1. Upset Special

    Miami 24
    NE 10

    Cassel throws the ball around like he is Brady. Then, reality sets in and he remembers who he really is. By then it is too late. With 2 int's and a fumble later, yahoo pats fans slink home feeling lost and alone.

    Posted by Bob Griese September 19, 08 10:31 AM
  1. The last time the Patriots lost to a team not named the New York Giants, it was in Miami, back on Dec. 10, 2006>>

    This isn't righjt. You have to either count playoff losses or regular season. No need to mention the Giants game, because they have also lost to the Colts since the Dolphins loss.

    EW: You are correct. Fixed.

    Posted by TGM40 September 19, 08 12:06 PM
  1. It's funny that it was the Ravens that almost ended both teams' perfect regular seasons last year

    Posted by J-Bone September 19, 08 01:00 PM
  1. Upset Special.... must be a menu item at Snow White's Bar & Grill.

    Posted by shawn September 19, 08 01:02 PM
  1. I love these internet tough guy sports fans...Like "Bob G"....Are you kidding!!!..LOL

    1. Why is Cassel bad?...its been 2 games...Hes a back up we dont know yet..Give it 8 Weeks we will then have an idea about what cassel is...

    2. Miami doesnt have the recievers to score on NE. There running backs???? tight ends????????really.....come on.....There defense?????????????

    3. Pats 24 Fins 13



    Posted by C September 19, 08 01:13 PM
  1. Rumor has it that along with Brady the following won't be playing in Sundays game- Bruschi, ,Wilfork,Warren,Green,Hobbs,Harrison,Faulk,Welker,Moss,Maroney,Jordan,Light,Seymour and Belichick has decided to take the afternoon off as well.
    Patriots- 58
    Fins- negative 2
    If your at zero points and a safety happens, do you go to negative 2 ?

    Posted by Dave G. September 19, 08 01:27 PM
  1. Patriots 13
    Dolphins 3

    The Pats are not yet an offensive machine.

    Posted by Richard September 19, 08 01:53 PM
  1. Upset special:

    Bob Griese crying when the Dolphins loosefor the 21st time in 22 games.

    Posted by FishFillet September 19, 08 02:00 PM
  1. The Pats would have to try even harder to lose this one than they did in that final regular season game against Miami in '05, when Cassel intentionally air mailed the two point conversion pass to Wrentham...

    Posted by Jonny D September 19, 08 02:13 PM
  1. New Upset Special Menu Item:

    "Cassel is cooked" clam cakes and "Tuna knows best" salad.

    Miami 24

    NE 10

    Y'all come back now ya hear.

    Posted by Bob Griese September 19, 08 02:26 PM
  1. You gotta be kidding me... why are we even debating this? the fins have NOTHING!! I repeat NOTHING!! It needed to be said twice for effect. Pats might have lost Brady but they still have the recievers and the running backs. Don't forget the D. Pats 24 Fins 6.

    Posted by Wass September 19, 08 03:20 PM
  1. Well at least the guy picking the Dolphins has the guts to not hide behind a fake name.


    Posted by RickD` September 19, 08 03:29 PM
  1. Hey Dave G. They award two points to the team that causes a safety, not take them away. They don't subtract points for being the team that allows the safety either. Thanks for playing name that dumb question asked by a pat fan. Next week we will have Fishfillet attempt to chew gum and walk backward at the same time followed by JonnyD and his fantastic band of gypsies dancing the polka. C then wonders what it will take to get him on the show and he later learns how to turn the caps lock off. Whew! Tune in it should be a dandy of a time!

    Posted by Bob Griese September 19, 08 04:03 PM
  1. "New Upset Special Menu Item:

    "Cassel is cooked" clam cakes and "Tuna knows best" salad.

    Miami 24

    NE 10

    Y'all come back now ya hear."

    That was so moronically stupid it was actually funny. I wonder if Elvis talks to him too..?...

    Posted by Ghostdncer September 19, 08 04:07 PM
  1. I love how you add parcells into the mix there at the end, cause we all know how many super bowls he has been to since 96 .....hey if they want you to cook the rotten meal let parcells buy the groceries.

    Posted by mike September 19, 08 04:18 PM
  1. Dear Bob Griese,

    Re: Upset Special

    Aren't you legally blind?????

    Posted by Mercury Morris September 19, 08 04:20 PM
  1. Even a middle school football team can beat the Dolphins right now....


    Posted by EB September 19, 08 04:25 PM
  1. I think the last time Miami shut us out they had our playbook. Hasn't been close since. That proved the ONLY way Miami could win, not just against us but ANYONE in the league.

    NE defense steps up again to secure the goose egg. Cassel's poise in the pocket grows..... Pats roll 24-0

    Posted by ozfree September 19, 08 04:36 PM
  1. Hey Bob Griese,

    Please do not drive or operate any heavy machinery for the next 48 hours.

    You are obviously under the influence of something that causes extreme hallucinations.

    You should come back to reality on Monday.

    Posted by PatFanInBA September 19, 08 05:25 PM
  1. Bob griese you are an idiot!! But I guess that is what fins fans have to look forward to again this year..........tweaking their opponents fans on their local websites!! Imagine the biggest thrill of a fans football season is trying to upset fans on the internet!! That's what I call pitiful!!!!!

    Posted by scottprim September 19, 08 06:08 PM
  1. My fellow Pats fans!

    This game will be allot closer then you all think. The Pats better NOT come out flat!

    The D has to set the tone, they've got come out and punch Miamis' O right in the MOUTH! Whacking Dolphin WRs' when they attempt passes over the middle early is a MUST! Harrison and Meriweather must deal out the PAIN with absolute impunity! Against Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, arm tackling just won't cut it!

    Cassel and the O must be steady. A few bombs in 81s' direction will be a must!
    Pats - 28 Fish - 3

    Posted by Kevin September 19, 08 08:17 PM
  1. How did the Patriots wind up with this creampuff schedule. After going 16-0 in the regular season, the play 3 of the 5 worst teams in the NFL from last year in the first 3 weeks of the season (2 of them at home)? Could it be that the NFL prospered so much from the Pats run at perfection (with the aide of some questionable calls late in games to help them) that they're trying to give the Pats the best chance at perfection again in an effort to boost the NFL's bottom line? I guess the NFL couldn't stop Brady from getting hurt.

    Posted by Mike September 20, 08 01:25 AM
  1. Patriots 31 Miami 13. It's going to be a long season for Chad, a veteran eagle surrounded mostly by turkeys.

    Posted by Bob Greasy - huh huh huh September 20, 08 01:42 PM
  1. miami couldnt beat the best high school team. patriots 23 miami 0

    Posted by Alex September 20, 08 01:56 PM
  1. Dear Pat fans.......How do you like your CROW!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by PAT HATER September 21, 08 04:59 PM
  1. Miami 38
    Patriots 13

    Posted by Tom B. September 21, 08 06:13 PM
  1. Wass....

    Where you at??

    38 points dropped on that Pats D!!!

    Bob called the upset!!

    It isn't even up for debate!!!

    Posted by Wass GOT OWNED September 21, 08 11:26 PM
  1. Patriots- 58
    Fins- negative 2

    How's that workin' out for ya, Dave G?

    Posted by Nelson Muntz September 22, 08 03:18 AM
  1. Ummmm.....oops

    Posted by AZPatsfan September 22, 08 03:38 AM
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