Although 2022 is almost over, the NFL season is far from set in stone. With the Miami Dolphins set to face the New England Patriots on the road at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, it is time for some Dolphins Week 17 bold predictions as they try to stop their slide.
Miami is on a rough four-game losing streak. Most recently, the Dolphins lost 26-20 to the Green Bay Packers, with Tua Tagovailoa suffering a concussion in the process. Tagovailoa is set to miss this Week 17 clash because of the concussion, with Teddy Bridgewater taking over.
The Patriots are also on a losing streak with their last win coming in Week 14. The most notorious loss came versus the Las Vegas Raiders when instead of going to overtime, New England attempted a lateral play that was picked off and returned for a game-winning touchdown. At 7-8, the team is third in its division and just outside the playoff zone.
With so much at stake, this AFC East clash should seriously affect the playoff picture. With that being said, here are some bold predictions for the Dolphins as they face the Patriots in Week 17.
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3. Teddy Bridgewater throws for 200+ yards and a touchdown
If there is something that Miami fans are certainly concerned, it is Tua Tagovailoa's condition. The former Crimson Tide star is having a career year with a 64.8% completion rate for 3,538 yards and 25 touchdowns with eight picks, three of them coming on consecutive possessions last week versus the Packers. The quarterback is once again in concussion protocol, and the Dolphins are preparing to move ahead with Teddy Bridgewater in Week 17.
The 2015 Pro Bowler has played in four games this season, including a start. However, the team failed to win when he played significant snaps. For the season, Bridgewater is completing 61.7% of his passes for 522 yards and three touchdowns with three interceptions.
The bold prediction is that since Tagovailoa was diagnosed with a concussion early in the week, Bridgewater will take advantage of his increased prep time and should throw for more than 200 yards and at least a touchdown. Bridgewater is a nice backup to have in this situation, and look for him to rise to the challenge in this crucial game.
2. Raheem Mostert rushes for 100+ yards, at least a touchdown
With Tagovailoa set to miss Week 17, the Dolphins will look to utilize their running game even more. That should give Raheem Mostert more snaps and carries on Sunday.
In 2022, Mostert has 161 rush attempts for a total of 791 yards and three touchdowns. He also has 21 catches for 150 yards and a score. The former Purdue Boilermaker has two 100-yard performances this year, including a personal season high of 136 yards against the Buffalo Bills in Week 15.
Mostert will have one of the biggest challenges of the season on Sunday. The Patriots' rushing defense is in the top 10 in the league, allowing a total of just 1,617 yards on the ground. Their six allowed rushing touchdowns are the best mark in the NFL.
Still, the bold prediction is that Mostert will go off and surpass 100 yards while scoring at least once. If that happens, the Dolphins should stay alive in this Week 17 game even without Tagovailoa.
1. Miami snaps losing streak, wins by one score
At the end of the day, this is likely the “make-or-break” game for both teams this season. A New England loss would mean the team is out of the playoffs, while a Miami defeat could take the team down up to four positions in the standings.
According to FanDuel, the Patriots are the favorite to win this contest. However, the spread is just -3. This means that this will likely be a very close game, and every possession should matter. This could also turn out to be a kicking battle in the end since the Dolphins will be with a backup quarterback and Mac Jones is struggling this season with the Patriots.
Even if this is not one of the best games of the week, it could certainly become a thriller at the end. The bold prediction is that this will be a one-score matchup. It will come down to a big drive by Miami's offense or a huge stop by its defense.
The potential win for the Dolphins will not only snap its losing streak but will motivate the team to get the job done in Week 18 against the New York Jets. This will allow them to control their own destiny, and it all begins with a victory in Massachusetts.