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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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NFL Free Picks Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots

An important AFC East battle takes place today, as the Miami Dolphins take on the New England Patriots at Foxboro StadiumThe game will be televised on CBS and has a start time of 1:00 PM (Eastern). Current odds for the game have New England listed as 6 point favoriteswhile the total sits at 45.

Analysis: The Miami Dolphins started the year with 3 straight wins, but have since gone on to drop their next 3, with their last 2 losses coming by a combined 5 points. In their last game, Dan Carpenter burned his former team by drilling the go-ahead field goal with 33 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter as Buffalo rallied for a 23-21 victory over Miami. QB Ryan Tannehill hasn't been great lately, but he still tossed three touchdowns in last week's 23-21 loss to the Bills. Tannehill, who was limited at Wednesday's practice with a sore shoulder, has been sacked a league-high 26 times, including twice last week in a loss to Buffalo. His two interceptions and lost fumble against the Bills increased his season turnover total to 11 - fourth in the NFL. Miami's air attack has been average this season, with 235 ypg passing (16th in NFL), but their its ground game has been dreadful with just 78 ypg rushing (25th in league). Defensively, Miami has really done a solid job against the run by holding teams to 103 ypg on 3.8 ypc, but the club has surrendered 269 ypg passing (25th in NFL).

New England fell to an AFC East rival for the first time in 13 meetings as the New York Jets spoiled the return of Rob Gronkowski en route to a 30-27 overtime decision last week. Tom Brady has thrown for 283 YPG, 11 TD and 2 INT during a six-game SU win streak (4-1-1 ATS) over Miami. Brady might finally have his full complement of receivers to use this week if WR Danny Amendola (concussion) is cleared to play. Amendola has logged just one full game all year, but has still been targeted 27 times, resulting in 16 catches. Last week Brady wasted no time in getting star TE Rob Gronkowski back in the flow of things with 17 passes being thrown his way, but due to some poor passes, Gronkowski pulled in just eight of those attempts, but still managed 114 yards.  The Patriots' defense hopes that top CB Aqib Talib, who missed last week's game with a hip injury, can return to action, but New England's run defense is a bigger concern without LB Jerod Mayo (pectoral) and DTs Vince Wilfork (Achilles) and Tommy Kelly (knee). the Patriots now rank second-to-last in the NFL in run defense (127 ypg).

Pick: I love the Patriots in this one. This is an angry Pattiots team as they are coming off a loss to the hated Jets and they are 24-9 ATS in their last 33 games off a loss. The Patriot also should have their full compliment of receivers back this week, with the return of Amendola, plus Gronkowski has a week of play under his belt, so he should have a better game in this one, even though he caught 8 passes for 114 yards in his first game. Miami has problems on the OL and that hasn't helped Tannehill stay upright and the Patriots do have a solid pass rush which should pressure him into some mistakes. On the defensive side of the ball the Canes are very poor vs the pass, allowing 269 ypg, which is 25th in the league. Miami has lost 3 in a row and while the last 2 have been close losses I don't feel this one will be. The Patriots are finally healthy on offense and should exploit a weak Miami Pass defense. Pats by nearly 2 Tds here.

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