New England Patriots vs Miami Dolphins: Game 14 Preview and Prediction
By Hal Bent
HOW THE PATRIOTS COULD LOSE:
The Dolphins finally took the reins off running back Kenyan Drake last week against the Denver Broncos. Drake took over as the lead back with co-running back Damien Williams out with a dislocated left shoulder.
In 2016 Drake was buried on the bench behind Jay Ajayi and rushed just 33 times for 179 yards. In the first six weeks of this season he had just four carries for three yards.Last year’s third-round draft pick for Miami rushed for 120 yards last week in his first game as the feature back.
Drake does not have to worry about New England middle linebacker Kyle Van Noy already ruled out for the game on Monday night. The Patriots will have to try to stop him with veteran David Harris next to Elandon Roberts in the middle of the defense.
The New England rush defense allowed 183 yards to the Buffalo Bills last week but still held them to just three points (which may have been due to Tyrod Taylor being injured and Nathan Peterson throwing the football).
Miami will likely test the New England rush defense that has allowed 1,449 yards on the ground (26th in the NFL) and an NFL worst 5.1 yards per rush early on Monday night. If Drake can get going early on and the Dolphins can keep from falling behind, the running game and controlling the clock could be a key for a Miami upset.