For all the struggles the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins have had this season, few would’ve predicted a few weeks ago that the biggest AFC East game of the season would’ve been today’s showdown at Sun Life Stadium. Where reputation is concerned, the 10-3 Patriots traveling to Miami to take on the 7-6 Dolphins looks like a blowout. But the Patriots are facing yet another round of adversity as they seek a first-round bye, and Miami is one of four teams fighting for the AFC’s final wild-card spot. With pressure on both sidelines, you’ll want to watch Patriots vs Dolphins free online live using one of several different tools.
The biggest news out of the Patriots camp shouldn’t really be “news” at all. Having struggled with a depleted receiving corps for much of the season, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was just getting used to having Rob Gronkowski back in the lineup. Unfortunately for Brady, the football gods don’t seem to want him to be comfortable. Gronkowski took a viscous but legal hit last week in Sunday’s 27-26 victory over the Cleveland Browns, tearing both his ACL and MCL and being lost again for the season.
The last time these teams met, in Week 8 earlier this season, New England walked away with a 27-17 victory. Yet that game was in New England, it required the Dolphins blowing a 17-3 halftime lead, and Gronk was playing. Since that time Miami has worked through the Richie Incognito bullying scandal and won three of their past four games. Going into the Patriots game live today, the Dolphins have gelled and are looking to make a statement. They’re also desperate to advance their chance of nabbing the AFC’s last remaining playoff wild card position. With Gronk out today for the Patriots, and with the game being played in Miami, the Dolphins have more than a fighter’s chance to pull off what just two weeks ago looked like a lock for New England.
Much of the Dolphins’ hope rests with quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who has completed 300 of 484 passes for 3,315 yards and 20 touchdowns. Fans who watch Patriots vs Dolphins free online will likely see Tannehill continue to perform well, as the Miami offensive line is protecting him much better from being sacked than it was earlier in the season. That protection has helped Tannehill pad his stats, but more importantly it’s been a key reason Miami’s running game has posted 306 yards over the past two games. If the Dolphins can click on the ground and in the air, the Patriots 25th-ranked defense could be in for a long day on the road.
With that said, New England QB Tom Brady has been the king of second-half comebacks this season, so if the Patriots find themselves in a hole again you can’t count them out. The Patriots also have a secret weapon, running back Shane Vereen, who’s been a welcome if not surprising addition to the Pats’ lineup at a time when injuries leave them needing all the help they can get. Although he’s a running back, Vereen plays very well as a receiver coming out of the backfield, a combo that’s led Brady to look to Vareen more than 15 times each game. In his five outings this season, the running back has averaged 111.8 total yards from scrimmage.
Today’s 1:00pm EST / 10:00am PST game between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins could very well be the AFC East’s biggest game of the season. The Patriots have averaged 32 points per game with Gronkowski in the lineup this season and just 20.8 points per game without him. Can the Dolphins take advantage at home? There’s a pretty good chance of a Dolphins upset, if ESPN’s oddsmakers are to be believed. Some NFL Network professionals are also picking the Dolphins to beat the Patriots.
To see it all unfold live, you can watch Patriots vs Dolphins free online on DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket with MAX Package. The package requires a subscription, but anyone who has one can watch the live streaming version free of any game, including today’s game between the Patriots and Dolphins. It should be a close game, as both teams have a lot to play for.