The AFC East will be featured on “Thursday Night Football” in Week 8, as the New England Patriots host the Miami Dolphins. It’s the first time the two teams are meeting in 2015, and a loss for the Dolphins could end any chance they have of winning the division.
New England is one of five remaining undefeated teams, and they have a three-game lead over the Dolphins. The Patriots have won 12 of their last 13 games, including the playoffs, and they have just one home loss in the last three years.
Miami is 2-1 on the road this season, and they’ve only faced one team that is currently above .500. New England is an eight-point favorite at home, according to vegasinsider.com.
Dion Lewis is questionable for Thursday night’s game with an abdomen injury, and it looks like he’ll be a game-time decision. Lewis has 201 rushing yards on the season, and his absence clearly affected New England’s game-plan last week against the New York Jets. Without Lewis available, Tom Brady handed the ball off just five times, and barely utilized his running backs in the passing game. Lewis is averaging 5.2 catches per game for 51.2 yards, but Brady only completed three passes to his running backs for 26 yards in Week 7.
Patriots starting right tackle Marcus Cannon has been ruled out with a toe injury. New England’s offensive line has been banged up for much of the year, and Brady is 10th in the NFL, having been sacked 16 times. The quarterback was sacked just 21 times all of last year.
A few of Miami’s defensive players are dealing with injuries. Cornerbacks Zack Bowman, Brent Grimes and Brice McCain were all limited in practice on Tuesday. Grimes is probable, but McCain is questionable, having missed last week’s game against the Houston Texans. Miami defeated Houston 44-26, and the defense limited Brian Hoyer to 273 yards on 49 attempts. Houston only averaged 2.8 yards per carry on 25 attempts.
Miami’s defense has improved mightily under coach Dan Campbell. In two games since firing Joe Philbin, the Dolphins have allowed 18 points and 310.5 yards per game. The Dolphins have totaled 82 points in those two games, ranking ninth in points per game.
The game kicks off at 8:25 p.m. ET, and it will be broadcast on both CBS and the NFL Network. A free live stream is available online at nflnonline.nfl.com.
Data curated by pointafter.com and sourced from Sportradar US