Patriots vs. Dolphins: 6 Bold Predictions
2. Patriots will succeed on 50 percent of 3rd down attempts
Last week, the Patriots struggled mightily to move the sticks on third down. They made only one of their 10 attempts, which was one of the six frustrations in the loss to the Jets that we elaborated on earlier in the week.
Different game, different opponent, different story. The Patriots will take third down situations by the reins on Sunday by converting a clean 50 percent of their attempts.
To put in perspective just how difficult that is, the Arizona Cardinals lead the league with a conversion rate of 47.3 percent. The Pats aren’t far behind them at 41.8 percent, and their solid performance in Week 17 will increase that figure.
You may be wondering—how are the Patriots going to do so well on third down? Well, for starters, the powerful running of Jackson will put them in plenty of third-and-short situations. Unlike against the Jets, when running the ball on first down was almost guaranteed to result in no gain, the Pats will be able to establish the run.
Additionally, the (likely) return of Edelman to the lineup will provide that underneath route runner that Brady has been missing so much on third down.
Next: 1. No TDs for the Dolphins