Five bold Patriots predictions for week two

Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots
Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

What a start to the season as I went 4-1 on my bold predictions last week, just missing on the number of turnovers the Patriots defense would get. Let's try to keep the train moving with some bold predictions on how the game against the Dolphins might play out.

1. Mike Gesicki scores a touchdown

Gesicki had a decent debut for the Patriots, grabbing all three of his targets for 36 yards and picking up a first down with each reception. I expect him to become more involved in the offense each week, and you know the former Dolphin would love to score against his former team.

One thing the Patriots did well last week that they did not do in 2022 was score touchdowns in the red zone, as all three of Mac Jones' touchdown passes came inside the Philadelphia 20-yard line. Gesicki has proven to be a big target in the red zone, as 16 of his 18 career touchdowns have come from inside the red area.

2. Patriots hold Tyreek Hill under 100 receiving yards

Coming off a huge week one against the Chargers, Hill and Tua Tagovailoa are clicking for the Miami offense. The Patriots are banged up in the secondary as they may be without Jonathan Jones after already having Jack Jones on IR. Jonathan Jones has usually drawn the Hill assignment throughout his career with safety help, so it will be interesting to see the matchup if he cannot go.

Last year, the Patriots held Hill under 100 receiving yards in both matchups, including just four receptions for 55 yards in the victory at Gillette Stadium in Week 17. Bill Belichick usually tries to take away an opponent's best option, so I anticipate the focus to be on stopping Hill.

3. Rhamondre Stevenson runs for 100 yards

In four career games against the Dolphins, Stevenson's single-game high for rushing yards was 42 in last season's victory. Coming off the first 1,000-yard campaign of his short career, Stevenson got off to a very slow start with only 25 yards (on 12 carries) after battling an illness in the days leading up to last week's season opener.

I expect Stevenson to bounce back against Miami, as this could be a game in which the Patriots try to control the clock on the ground to keep the ball out of Tagovailoa's hands. The good news is this is a Dolphins defense that was not good against the run last week, giving up 233 rushing yards to the Chargers, as Los Angeles just missed having two one-hundred-yard rushers.

4. Patriots intercept Tua twice

A year after having the third-most interceptions in the NFL with 19 in 2022, the Patriots failed to intercept Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts last week. If the Patriots are going to defeat Miami, I think they'll need to force multiple turnovers in this one.

In four career games against the Patriots, Tagovailoa has only thrown two interceptions, so saying the Patriots get two here could be considered a stretch. However, Tagovailoa is now much more comfortable in the offense, and with so many passes, this could be a spot where the defense gets its hands on a few balls.

5. Demario Douglas catches at least five passes

Douglas had an impact in his NFL debut, catching four passes for 40 yards against the Eagles while being targeted seven times by Mac Jones. While Kendrick Bourne should continue to see the most targets, a door has opened for Douglas to make more of an impact.

DeVante Parker missed last week with an injury and is questionable again this week, while Kayshon Boutte was added to the injury report with a hamstring injury. Then there is JuJu Smith-Schuster, who may or may not be hampered by a knee injury. Douglas has quickly ascended the receiver list, and I think he improves upon his Week One numbers.