If last Sunday were any indication, these New England Patriots are legit.
They just know how to play football. They played a great game against a great team in the Arizona Cardinals on the road. Well, now they’re coming home to Gillette Stadium to face an AFC East team.
Raise your hand if you think the Patriots will win the Sunday. Actually, don’t do that. You’re probably out in public and this isn’t kindergarten. Just remember, the Pats are playing the Miami Dolphins this Sunday. So yeah, they opened up as six-and-a-half point favorites. Not bad as a win is a win, as the kids say.
Full strength, there’s not really any argument: the Patriots have a better team than the Dolphins. I’d apologize, except it’s true. Even with the Patriots down a lot of key guys, they topped the Cardinals. And while they might still be without some guys (at least Rob Gronkowski could be back), the Dolphins are missing their share of players as well.
Wednesday, they had a ton of guys who straight up didn’t practice. Here’s their list of guys:
RB Arian Foster – Hamstring
LB Jelani Jenkins – Knee
DT Jordan Phillips – Ankle
C Mike Pouncey – Hip
DE Mario Williams – Concussion
You should at least know a few names from that list and recognize a few quality players. Only Dont’a Hightower didn’t participate in practice for the Patriots. It’s just a lot of guys were limited — which is defined as less than 100 percent of a player’s normal reps. That could be 99 percent for all we know.
So why do you expect the Patriots to win this game? Well, they’re nasty at home. And Jimmy G. was quite fetch (yes, I want to make fetch a thing too) in his first game under center, so there’s probably not a quarterback problem — even with Tom Brady gone.