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Week 8 NFL picks: Dolphins vs. Patriots

Ryan Tannehill of the Miami Dolphins throw passes

Ryan Tannehill of the Miami Dolphins throw passes during practice prior to a game against the Houston Texans at Sun Life Stadium on Oct. 25, 2015 in Miami Gardens, Fla. Credit: Getty Images / Chris Trotman

DOLPHINS (3-3) AT PATRIOTS (6-0), 8:25 p.m.

TV: Ch 2, NFL; Radio: WCBS (880)

Patriots by 8; O/U: 51

Making the wrong reads.


Can't get out of their own way.

No, I'm not talking about the Dolphins' effort during the first four weeks of the season.

I'm talking about my Thursday night picks. I'm 1-5-1 overall, and I need a pep talk. Someone to inspire me and turn my season around. I'm talking to you, Dan Campbell.

Miami's interim coach has done a remarkable job. The Dolphins left London a 1-3 team that had been outscored 91-48 during a three-game losing streak. The next day, they fired their coach and hoped naming a 39-year-old former tight end could spark a lethargic team. It has. Miami is 2-0 under Campbell with an 82-36 advantage in points. The much-maligned defense has 10 sacks in two games after having just one through the first four.

As great as the Dolphins have looked under Campbell, here's the thing: Those wins were against the Titans and Texans, two teams that have half as many wins combined as the 6-0 Pats. New England is an entirely different beast. It is 18-1 in divisional home games since 2009. Tom Brady, 8-2 in his last 10 meetings vs. Miami, never has lost a Thursday game (8-0).

Despite the Jets outgaining New England and having a four-point fourth-quarter lead last week, the Pats still were in line to cover an 81/2-point spread before a late field goal put the Jets inside the number. That tells you that even when New England doesn't play its best, it is capable of covering a big spread. Brady has thrown for 2,054 yards and 16 touchdowns, with only one interception. Oh, and there's that Rob Gronkowski guy. Who's stopping him?

I like what Campbell has done, but this is uncharted waters for the Dolphins' leader. He's no match for Bill Belichick, his coaching staff and his high-scoring offense.

The pick: Patriots

TOM ROCK: Patriots




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