For the first time in NFL history, the league has five teams at 6-0. New England is of course one of the five and gets a shot at becoming the first to seven wins Thursday vs. Miami.
Could the Patriots run the table in the regular season as they did in 2007 (before losing the Super Bowl in a huge upset against the Giants)? Don't rule it out. BetOnline's NFL odds offer options on each of the five remaining unbeatens to finish the season at 16-0. The Patriots have easily the shortest odds at +600. Green Bay is No. 2 at +1000. Those teams don't play in the regular season. That there is a Super Bowl featuring an 18-0 Patriots team vs. an 18-0 Packers team -- can you imagine that!? -- is +1400, with no at -4000. A perfect regular season by any team is +300, with no at -400. The Patriots are the -170 favorites to be the last unbeaten team standing. They are going to be favored the rest of the way. New England is -8 for this game. The rest of the schedule: vs. Washington, at NY Giants, vs. Buffalo, at Denver, vs. Philadelphia, at Houston, vs. Tennessee, at NY Jets, at Miami. Only the Giants, Broncos and Jets currently have winning records. What if New England is unbeaten in Week 17 against these Fins and presumably has the top AFC seed locked up? Go for it or rest guys? In 2007, the Patriots played everyone and won barely at the Giants, 38-35.
***Dolphins vs. Patriots Thursday Night Betting Preview***
***Dolphins vs. Patriots Thursday Night ATS Pick***
***Dolphins vs. Patriots Thursday Night Total Pick***
***Dolphins Player Props for Thursday Night Football***
Tom Brady 'Over/Under' 26.5 Completions, 312.5 Passing Yards, 2.5 TD Passes, .5 INTs
Will Brady Throw A Pick: Yes Even Money, No -130
Brady's Longest Completion: 41.5 Yards
I wrote a story here at SBR on the updated MVP odds and my prediction on Wednesday. Brady is the even money favorite at Bovada and he was my choice. Brady, who says he wants to play 10 more years (delusional considering he's 38), is among the NFL leaders or leading in nearly every major category. He's completing 68.9 percent of his passes (would tie career high) for 2,054 yards, 16 touchdowns and just one interception for a rating of 113.2. He's definitely making an argument as the best QB in NFL history and it's not an argument if Brady wins a fifth Super Bowl this February. Brady's season-low yardage is 275 a few weeks ago against Dallas. He has thrown for at least 312 in four of six games. He has multiple TD passes in all six. Last week against a Jets defense that was No. 1 in the NFL, Brady was 34-for-54 for 355 yards, two TDs and no picks. It was the 17th time in Brady 's career he had a 350-yard, two-TD game with no picks. That's an NFL record. And since 2002, Brady is 8-0 on Thursdays, passing for 2,249 yards and 20 touchdowns. Brady didn't reach 300 yards in either game vs. Miami last year. In the win in Foxboro, he threw for 287 with two scores and a pick. Miami is No. 14 in passing yards allowed per game at 241.0. The Dolphins have allowed 11 TD passes and picked off six. One big reason why they signed defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh this offseason? If Brady has one weakness, it's pressure up the middle. Suh hasn't done much yet, however. The Miami defense has been much improved the past two weeks since coordinator Kevin Coyle was dumped alongside head coach Joe Philbin.
NFL Free Picks: 'UNDER' completions, yards and TDs. He does throw one pick. 'UNDER' longest completion as New England doesn't have a major deep threat.
Rob Gronkowski O/U 5.5 Receptions, 84.5 Yards
Miami interim coach Dan Campbell has joked that his team will put the "whole secondary" on Gronk. That's not going to happen, but the Dolphins will try variety of coverages and defenders on Gronkowski. Expect safety Reshad Jones, who is playing at a Pro Bowl level, to spend much of the game trying to be physical with Gronkowski. Good luck with that since Gronk has four inches and about 50 pounds on Jones. The tight end has 34 catches for 533 yards and six scores this year. He has topped 5.5 catches just twice but gone over the 84.5 yards four times. Gronk has a TD catch in three of his past four games against Miami and 12 TD catches in his past 12 games overall, including playoffs.
NFL Free Picks: 'OVER' catches, 'UNDER' yards. Something like 6 catches, 70 yards and a TD.