Tag Archives: Week 17

NFL Playoff Picture for Week 17

John Morgan
December 30, 2017 at 2:00 pm ET

The 2017 NFL regular season wraps up on Sunday afternoon. There is not as much drama this year compared to the week 17 of many previous seasons. The 2017 NFL playoff picture is relatively settled. In the AFC there are four teams battling for two wild card spots. The NFC still has one division title up for grabs, but has just two teams competing for one final playoff slot.

For the sake of clarity and sanity, ties have been omitted from the scenarios below.


AFC Playoff Picture for Week 17

12-3 New England Patriots
15½ point home favorites vs Jets.
Have clinched AFC East and a first round bye.
Clinch the #1 seed with either a win, or a Pittsburgh loss.

12-3 Pittsburgh Steelers
7 point home favorites vs Browns.
Have clinched AFC North and a first round bye.
Need a win plus a Patriots loss for #1 seed.
Are the #2 seed in any other scenario.

10-5 Jacksonville Jaguars
3 point underdogs at Tennessee.
Have clinched AFC South and #3 seed.
Locked into the #3 slot.

9-6 Kansas City Chiefs
3½ point underdogs at Denver.
Have clinched AFC West and #4 seed.
Locked into the #4 slot.

9-6 Baltimore Ravens
9½ point home favorites vs Cincinnati.
Become #5 seed with either a win, or losses by both Buffalo and Tennessee.
Become #6 spot with loss, and either Buffalo or Tennessee loses.
Miss playoffs with a loss, plus both Buffalo and Tennessee win.

8-7 Tennessee Titans
3 point home favorites vs Jacksonville.
Become #5 seed with a win, plus Baltimore loses.
Become #6 seed with a win, plus Baltimore wins.
Can still become #6 seed despite a loss if both Bills and Chargers lose.
Eliminated with a loss, plus a win by either the Bills or Chargers.

8-7 Los Angeles Chargers
8 point home favorites vs Oakland.
Become #6 seed with a win, plus both Tennessee and Buffalo lose.
Become #6 seed with a win, plus both Tennessee and Baltimore lose.
Chargers are eliminated with a loss, or if Tennessee wins, or if Buffalo wins and Baltimore loses.

8-7 Buffalo Bills
2½ point favorites at Miami.
Clinch #5 seed with a win, plus losses by both Baltimore and Tennessee.
Become #6 seed with a win, plus Baltimore loses.
Become #6 seed with a win, plus both the Titans and the Chargers lose.
Eliminated with either a loss, or if the Titans and Ravens both win, or if the Chargers and Ravens both win.


NFC Playoff Picture for Week 17

13-2 Philadelphia Eagles
3 point home underdogs vs Dallas.
Have already clinched NFC East and #1 seed.

12-3 Minnesota Vikings
12 point home favorites vs Chicago.
Will be the #2 seed unless they lose, Carolina wins, plus the Saints and Rams both lose.

11-4 Los Angeles Rams
3½ point home underdogs vs San Francisco.
Clinch the #3 seed with a win, or with losses by both Carolina and New Orleans.
Drop to #4 seed with a loss, plus a win by either Carolina or New Orleans.

11-4 New Orleans Saints
7 point favorites at Tampa Bay.
Become #3 seed with a win, plus loss by Rams.
Win NFC South and #4 seed with either a win, or Carolina loss.
Become #5 seed with a loss, plus a Carolina win.

11-4 Carolina Panthers
3½ point underdogs at Atlanta.
Clinch #2 seed and first round bye with a win, plus losses by the Vikings, Saints and Rams.
Win NFC South and #3 seed with a win, plus losses by both the Saints and Rams.
Win NFC South and #4 seed with a win, plus loss by Saints.
Become #5 seed with either a loss, or a New Orleans win.

9-6 Atlanta Falcons
3½ point home favorites vs Carolina.
Make the playoffs as #6 seed with either a win, or a Seattle loss.
Miss the playoffs with a loss, plus Seattle wins.

9-6 Seattle Seahawks
9½ point home favorites vs Arizona.
Make the playoffs as #6 seed with both a win, plus Atlanta loss.
Miss the playoffs with either a loss, or an Atlanta win.


NFL Week 17 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead’ Betting Lines: Pats favored by 16 vs Jets

John Morgan
December 23, 2017 at 8:00 pm ET

NFL Week 17 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead’ Betting Lines: Pats favored by 16 vs Jets

The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook has published their latest NFL Advanced Betting Lines. These early odds were posted a day after the Week 15 games finished. Keep in mind these odds were listed prior to any of this week’s injury reports, as well as any of the Week 16 games. Also known as Look-Ahead lines, they give the adventurous sports fan an opportunity to wager on games up to twelve days away from being played. Early lines offer a short opportunity to get a jump on odds that could become less favorable after Sunday’s games.

Handicapping games in the final week of the regular season can be a tricky proposition. Motivation could be difficult for a team that has played for the goal of making the playoffs for months, and suddenly finds themselves eliminated. A bad team might play loose and try things they normally wouldn’t, catching an opponent off guard. Good teams locked into a specific playoff slot may opt to rest players who would have otherwise started. The line in the Eagles-Cowboys game reflects that concept.

In Week 16 ten road teams are favored to win. That number falls back to a more typical number in Week 17, with five home dogs. The Saints are the biggest road favorite, minus 8½ points at Tampa Bay. The largest spread of the week is in Foxboro, where the Patriots are favored by 16 versus the Jets. That game is one of four double-digit spreads. The narrowest odds are with Houston as a one-point underdog at Indianapolis.

The most important games of Week 17 loom to be Carolina at Atlanta (-3½) in the NFC, and Jacksonville (-3½) at Tennessee in the AFC.

All games will be played on Sunday, December 31. There are no night games.

NFL Week 12 Early Odds – Early Games on CBS

New York Jets at New England Patriots (-16)
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3½) at Tennessee Titans
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-15)
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-11)
Buffalo Bills (-2½) at Miami Dolphins
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-1)

NFL Week 12 Early Odds – Early Games on Fox

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-3½)
New Orleans Saints (-8½) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-12)
Dallas Cowboys (-3) at Philadelphia Eagles
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (-9)
Washington Redskins (-3) at New York Giants

NFL Week 12 Early Odds – Late Games

Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers (-7), CBS
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (-7), Fox
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (-2½), CBS
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-7), Fox



NFL Week 16 Odds, Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

NFL Playoff Picture Entering Week 16


Tom Brady’s TB Times: Winter Is Here

John Morgan
January 1, 2017 at 4:54 pm ET

As is always the case in the immediate aftermath of a New England Patriots’ victory, a new issue of the TB Times was published. The faux-newspaper headline is posted on to Tom Brady’s facebook page by a prompt executive assistant to celebrate each Pats win.

Today’s edition featured frozen Dolphins in a Game of Thrones theme, declaring that Winter Is Here.

Patriots wrap up top AFC seed and home field advantage with win at Miami

For those not familiar with GOT, the GOAT is depicted as the Night King. Behind TB12 are his army of White Walker zombies: eleven various New England Patriot players.

With three touchdown passes Brady added some very impressive milestones to his already legendary resume. The quarterback set an all-time NFL record for the best touchdown to interception ratio (14:1) in a single season with his 28th TD against just two picks. Brady also set an NFL record with 254 pass attempts on the road without an interception.

Early in the game the Patriot quarterback also passed Hall of Fame great Dan Marino for the third most career passing yards in NFL history. With the victory the Patriots also became just the seventh team in league history to go 8-0 on the road. This is the second time the Pats have accomplished that feat, with the other coming in 2007.

NFL Week 17 Playoff Picture: AFC #1 Seed Still Up For Grabs

John Morgan
December 29, 2016 at 7:00 am ET

Week 16 took much of the drama out of the final Sunday of the 2016 NFL regular season. Ten of the twelve post-season entries have been determined, but there is still plenty of drama available to make week 17 intriguing.

After having to travel to Denver last year Patriot fans are well aware of the importance of home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Bill Belichick will surely remind the team of last year’s 20-10 week 17 loss at Miami, complete with embarrassing film clips in team meetings. Add in the benching of a starter and it is doubtful there will be any lack of intensity in Miami Gardens.

In terms of other games, the one with the most impact is Green Bay at Detroit. Barring a tie the winner moves on as NFC North champion while the season ends for the loser. New England fans seeking an easier road to the playoffs will root for an Oakland loss at Denver and a victory by the Chiefs at San Diego. That would mean the Patriots cannot play both KC and Pittsburgh – the only two AFC teams with quarterbacks who were starters at the beginning of this month.

Note: for the sake of both clarity and sanity, outcomes dependent on ties have for the most part not been included.


AFC Playoff Picture

The AFC field was finalized last week, thanks in large part to Baltimore’s loss to Pittsburgh and Denver’s loss at Kansas City. On top of that two teams – Pittsburgh at #3 and Houston at #4 – cannot move up or down regardless of this week’s outcomes.

13-2 New England Patriots
At Miami, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; favored by 9½.
Can finish as #1 or #2 seed.
– Clinch #1 seed with win at Miami.
– Clinch #1 seed with Oakland loss.
– Drop to #2 seed with both loss to Dolphins, plus Raiders win.

12-3 Oakland Raiders
At Denver, 4:25 pm ET on CBS; 1-point underdog.
Can Finish as #1, #2 or #5 seed.
– Clinch #1 seed with both a win at Denver, plus a New England loss.
– Clinch at least the #2 seed with either one of the above.
– Drop to #5 seed with both a loss to Broncos, plus Chiefs win.

10-5 Pittsburgh Steelers
Home vs Cleveland, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; favored by 6.
Locked in as #3 seed.
Note: Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell are all not expected to play.

9-6 Houston Texans
At Tennessee, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; 3-point underdog.
Locked in as #4 seed.
Note: quarterbacks will be Tom Savage vs Matt Cassel.

11-4 Kansas City Chiefs
At San Diego, 4:25 pm ET on CBS; favored by 6.
Can finish as #2, #5 or #6 seed.
– Clinch #2 seed with both a win and a Raider loss.
– Clinch at least #5 seed with a win.
– Also clinch at least #5 seed with a Dolphins loss.
– Drop to #6 seed with both a loss, plus a Dolphins win.

10-5 Miami Dolphins
Home vs New England, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; 9½ point underdog.
Can finish as #5 or #6 seed.
– Clinch # 5 seed with both a win, plus a Chiefs loss.
– Remain a #6 seed under all other scenarios.


NFC Playoff Picture

Green Bay, Detroit, Washington and Tampa Bay are vying for two playoff slots. Even though the Redskins are currently on the outside looking in, their playoff chances are very good. With the Packers and Lions playing each other Sunday night the loser of that game could be done. Washington controls its own destiny, gaining a playoff berth with a win as long as the Packers and Lions don’t tie. Tampa Bay on the other hand needs seven games to go their way to extend their season, including a Giants-Skins tie.

13-2 Dallas Cowboys
At Philadelphia, 1:00 pm ET on FOX; 3-point underdog.
Locked in as number one seed.
Biggest news in Dallas is how a Cowboy fan got revenge on the fiancee who dumped her.

10-5 Atlanta Falcons
Home vs New Orleans, 4:25 pm ET on FOX; favored by 6½.
Can finish as #2, #3 or #4 seed.
– Clinch #2 seed with a win at New Orleans.
– Also clinch #2 seed with losses by both Seattle and Detroit.
– Clinch at least #3 seed with loss by either Seahawks or Lions.
– Drop to #4 seed with (a) loss to Saints, plus (b) Seahawks win, plus (c) Lions win.

9-5-1 Seattle Seahawks
At San Francisco, 4:25 pm ET on FOX; favored by 9½.
Can finish as #2, #3 or #4 seed.
– Clinch #2 seed with both a win, plus a Falcons loss.
– Clinch at least #3 seed with a win.
– Drop to #4 seed with loss to 49ers.
Think Seattle regrets that early season loss to the Rams now?

9-6 Green Bay Packers
At Detroit, 8:30 pm ET on NBC; favored by 3½.
Can finish as #3, #4 or #6 seed – or can miss playoffs.
– Clinch #3 seed with a win, plus Seattle loss.
– Clinch at least #4 seed with a win.
– Still clinch a playoff spot as #6 seed with loss Washington loss.
– Eliminated from #3 seed if Seattle wins.
– Eliminated from #4 seed with loss to Lions.
– Completely miss playoffs with both a loss, plus Washington wins.

10-5 New York Giants
At Washington, 4:25 pm ET on FOX; 7-point underdogs.
Locked in as #5 seed.

9-6 Detroit Lions
Home vs Green Bay, 8:30 pm ET on NBC; 3½ point underdogs.
Can finish as #2, #3, #4 or #6 seed – or miss playoffs entirely.
– Clinch #2 seed with a win, plus losses by both Atlanta and Seattle.
– Can clinch at least #3 with a win, plus loss by either Atlanta or Seattle.
– Clinch at least #4 seed with a win.
– Clinch a playoff spot and at least #6 seed with a Washington loss.
– Eliminated from first round bye with win by either Falcons or Seahawks.
– Eliminated from #3 seed with wins by both Falcons and Seahawks.
– Loss to Packers eliminates Detroit from #4 seed or better.
– Eliminated from playoffs with both a loss, plus a Washington win.

8-6-1 Washington Redskins
Home vs New York Giants, 4:25 pm ET on FOX; favored by 7.
Can only be either #6 seed or miss playoffs.
– Clinch #6 seed with a win, as long as Detroit-Green Bay does not end in a tie.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a Lions-Packers tie.


Tampa Bay Bucs Playoff Picture

The Buccaneers deserve their own category simply because their playoff scenario is stranger than Rex Ryan’s proclivity for hidden cameras in an orthopedic surgeon’s office. Not only do the Bucs need a game to end in a tie, they also need two meaningless non-conference games to end in their favor. Oh, and for the Niners to beat Seattle too.

8-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Home vs Carolina, 1:00 pm ET on FOX; favored by 5½.
Can finish as #6 seed or miss playoffs.
Clinch playoff spot with every one of the following:
– A win vs Carolina, plus
– Washington ties Giants, plus
– Packers lose to Lions; plus
That would mean Tampa can top Green Bay based on Strength of Schedule if:
– Dallas beats Philadelphia, plus
– San Francisco beats Seattle, plus
– Indianapolis beats Jacksonville, plus
– Tennessee beats Houston

No problem.



Happy New Year everyone!

Patriots at Dolphins: Tom Brady PostGame Transcript

Ian Logue
January 3, 2016 at 5:18 pm ET

On what he has to say to the team moving forward after losing 4 of their last 6 heading into the postseason:

Well, we just have to get better.  So I think it will give us the chance to evaluate kind of where we’re at and see the things that we need to do better as a team so we can try to win these games.  It’s obviously a tough sport and you see where you’re at after 16 games and just keep fighting on.

On if this was a 100% effort to win this game today:

Absolutely.  Yeah.

On the fact it doesn’t look consistent at times when they don’t do the things that they’re best at:

Yeah, we’re trying to be effective and move the ball down the field and score points, we’re just not doing a very good job of it, so I think that’s what it comes down to.  We’re just not doing enough on offense to be productive.

On how they handled the first half after seeing them run the football so much and if that was the plan coming in:

Yeah, I think [it’s] just the way things went.  I wish we would have been more productive with whatever we chose to do.  So it just wasn’t a very good game.

On if it was just what they liked about Miami’s defense, just being able to run on them and if that was the idea coming in:

No, I think we always want to be balanced with what we do.  Sometimes it becomes more proportionate pass-wise to run-wise and vice-versa.  So we’re going to have to do both of those things well in a couple weeks regardless of who we play.  We’re going to have to run it well, we’re going to have to throw it well, everyone is going to have to contribute, take advantage of opportunities when we get them.

On the hit in the second-quarter and if he can take us through what happened there:

Yeah, I didn’t see the replay, so I’m going to be anxious to see it.

On how much pain he’s in right now:

I’m pretty sore, yeah. But it will be all right.

On if he said he’s anxious to see it because it was a low hit:

No, I just didn’t see it, so I threw the ball away, yeah.

On if he’s comfortable with where they’re at after Thanksgiving:

Well, we have to play well going forward so I think we’re at where we’re at based on a lot of things and we have to play well going forward if we want to make anything of our season.

On how he balances the reality of the situation with losing 4-of-6 and dealing with all the injuries and the flipside of his teammates saying they have to hit the reset button:

We’ve just got to play well two weeks from now, that’s all that really matters.  It’s going to be one game, we’ve got to play well, that’s what our whole season is going to come down to.  Nothing over the last six weeks is going to matter.  Nothing over the last sixteen weeks is going to matter.  What’s going to matter is how well we play in two weeks, that’s what’s going to matter.  So we’ve got to try to play as well as we can.

On what was going on with Vernon out there today and if anything was going on between the two, if anything was being said:

No, he’s a great player.  They can get after the quarterback so I thought they played well today.

On if he thought that first hit that was flagged was unnecessary:

I’m not sure, I didn’t … I don’t even remember that one.  That was …

On the fact he went after the official on one of them, and that he was seen barking at the officials:

I always do, don’t I?  I’m always trying to get a flag somehow.  It hasn’t worked very well this year.

Thank you guys.

Patriots at Dolphins: In-Depth Team Stats, Odds, TV Info & Prediction

John Morgan
at 11:00 am ET

In the final week of the 2015 NFL regular season, the 12-3 New England Patriots travel to south Florida to take on the 5-10 Miami Dolphins. With a victory the Patriots will secure the number one seed in the AFC and home field throughout the playoffs; the Pats can also land in the top spot if Denver loses to San Diego. Even with a loss and a win by the Broncos, New England will still have a bye next week to give many of their injured players extra time to recoup – but would have to travel to Denver for the AFC Championship game should both teams make it that far. The Dolphins were eliminated three weeks ago in what was the first loss of their current three-game losing streak and have clinched last place in the AFC South. The Fins have scored more than twenty points just three times this season, while giving up 30+ points six times and 23 or more ten times.

NFL Week 17 Playoff Picture with Clinching and Elimination Scenarios


Who: 12-3 New England Patriots at 5-10 Miami Dolphins

When: Sunday, January 3 at 1:00 pm ET

Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens FL

Television: CBS; announcers: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon

Broadcast on nine New England stations (Boston MA; Springfield MA; Providence RI; Hartford CT; Burlington VT; and Bangor, Portland and Presque Isle ME) and four Florida stations (Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Myers and Tampa).

Week 17 NFL Maps

Weather: 79° (‘feels like’ 82°); brief afternoon showers expected with a 59% chance of rain; 90% cloud cover, 73% humidity and a breeze of 6 mph.

Odds: The Patriots opened as eight-point favorites Sunday, and after a couple hours the line moved up to nine as early action was heavily tilted in New England’s favor. That trend continued throughout the week; by Tuesday the line was up to ten points and peaked at 10½ Wednesday, before settling back at ten Thursday. Late action has leaned more towards Miami plus the points, resulting in some venues lowering the spread to 9½, but the majority of betting parlors remain at 10 points. The over/under has moved up from an open of 44½ to 46½, with some sites as high as 47. As is always the case the money line varies from one venue to another, but the typical ML is set with the Patriots -500 (risk $500 to win $100) and Miami +400 (risk $100 to win $400).

Head-to-Head Series Record: Miami holds a slight edge in the all-time series at 52-48, which includes two wins and one loss by the Patriots in the playoffs. Miami won 17 out of 22 from 1967 to 1977, but the Patriots came back to upset the Fins in the ‘Squish the Fish’ game in the ’85 playoffs, starting a string of seven consecutive wins for the Patriots in the late eighties. Miami dominated in the early nineties, winning nine straight and 12 out of 13, but the Pats came back to win four in a row, including a 17-3 victory in the 1997 playoffs. Bill Belichick lost his first three meetings with Miami as head coach of the Patriots, but since then it has been all Pats, with New England winning 20 of the last 28 games.

Besides the Squish the Fish game, there have been plenty of other memorable battles between these two teams: the Mark Henderson Snow Plow Game; the Doug Flutie Drop Kick Game; the Wildcat Game; Miami’s Enhanced Audio ‘TapeGate’ Game; and Matt Light’s fight with Channing Crowder.


Miami has the appearance of a team that has packed it in, playing uninspired ball since the Patriots crushed them 36-7 in Week 8. The Dolphins have lost three in a row and seven of their last nine, with their only victories coming by a margin of two points against an injury-riddled Baltimore squad and by one over a Philadelphia team that was in the midst of a swoon that resulted in the firing of their head coach. The Patriots have plenty to play for but have 14 players on Injured Reserve, plus six more that have been ruled out for this game. Miami would love to end the season on a positive note by denying their long time rivals the number one seed; with so many key Patriot players missing, that is entirely possible.

Here is a look at how the two teams compare statistically; the numbers reflect an average per game (or per play), rather than aggregate totals. Per-game and per-play stats are used rather than gross totals because that makes the rankings more meaningful, and because they provide a better context in regards to what to expect in any given game. Numbers in green indicate a top-ten ranking while underlined green is top-five; red indicates a bottom-ten ranking and underlined red is bottom-five.


New England Patriots Offense versus Miami Dolphins Defense

Scoring per Game: Patriots 30.3 (3rd); Dolphins 25.3 (23rd)

Yardage per Game: Patriots 386 (4th); Dolphins 388 (27th)

First Downs per Game: Patriots 22.4 (3rd); Dolphins 22.6 (30th)

Yards per Play: Patriots 5.8 (6th); Dolphins 5.7 (25th)

Yards per Drive: Patriots 33.9 (8th); Dolphins 33.7 (28th)

Points per Drive: Patriots 2.57 (2nd); Dolphins 2.11 (23rd)

Drive Success Rate: Patriots .733 (3rd); Dolphins .726 (29th)

Points per Play: Patriots .457 (3rd); Dolphins .371 (19th)

Touchdowns per Game: Patriots 3.4 (3rd); Dolphins 3.0 (25th)

Red Zone Touchdowns per Game: Patriots 2.6 (1st); Dolphins 1.9 (20th)

Red Zone TD Percentage: Patriots 66.1% (3rd); Dolphins 60.4% (21st)

Plays per Game: Patriots 66.4 (9th); Dolphins 68.1 (29th)

Third Down Conversions per Game: Patriots 5.6 (12th); Dolphins 6.1 (29th)

Third Down Percentage: Patriots 41.8% (9th); Dolphins 44.4% (28th)

Punts per Score: Patriots 0.8 (3rd); Dolphins 1.1 (16th)

Punts per Game: Patriots 4.40 (10th); Dolphins 4.60 (18th)

Rushing Yards: Patriots 88.9 (29th); Dolphins 129.9 (30th)

Yards per Carry: Patriots 3.75 (28th); Dolphins 4.10 (16th)

Passing Yards: Patriots 297 (2nd); Dolphins 258 (24th)

Yards per Pass Attempt: Patriots 7.7 (7th); Dolphins 7.9 (28th)

Completion Percentage: Patriots 64.7% (11th); Dolphins 65.2% (23rd)

Passer Rating: Patriots 103.3 (4th); Dolphins 98.8 (25th)

TD Passes/Picks: Patriots +29 (1st), 36/7; Dolphins -18 (22nd), 31/13

Complete Passes per Game: Patriots 26.1 (5th); Dolphins 22.5 (18th)

Incomplete Passes per Game: Patriots 14.2 (24th); Dolphins 12.0 (23rd)

Quarterback Sacks per Game: Patriots 2.4 (17th); Dolphins 1.9 (27th)

Sack Yardage Lost per Game: Patriots 14.1 (11th); Dolphins 14.1 (22nd)


Miami Dolphins Offense versus New England Patriots Defense

Scoring: Dolphins 19.3 (27th); Patriots 19.7 (8th)

Yardage: Dolphins 325 (27th); Patriots 333 (7th)

First Downs: Dolphins 18.1 (30th); Patriots 18.5 (7th)

Yards per Play: Dolphins 5.4 (17th); Patriots 5.2 (6th)

Yards per Drive: Dolphins 27.8 (29th); Patriots 28.4 (6th)

Points per Drive: Dolphins 1.53 (28th); Patriots 1.58 (7th)

Drive Success Rate: Dolphins .659 (30th); Patriots .664 (8th)

Points per Play: Dolphins .321 (22nd); Patriots .304 (6th)

Touchdowns per Game: Dolphins 2.5 (18th); Patriots 2.3 (9th)

Red Zone Touchdowns per Game: Dolphins 1.4 (24th); Patriots 1.5 (8th)

Red Zone TD Percentage: Dolphins 53.9% (21st); Patriots 57.9% (17th)

Plays per Game: Dolphins 60.3 (28th); Patriots 64.6 (20th)

Third Down Conversions per Game: Dolphins 3.7 (31st); Patriots 5.1 (14th)

Third Down Conversion Percentage: Dolphins 29.3% (30th); Patriots 36.5% (9th)

Punts per Score: Dolphins 1.8 (30th); Patriots 1.5 (3rd)

Punts per Game: Dolphins 5.8 (30th); Patriots 5.4 (4th)

Rushing Yards: Dolphins 93.3 (27th); Patriots 98.9 (8th)

Yards per Carry: Dolphins 4.52 (9th); Patriots 4.09 (14th)

Passing Yards: Dolphins 231 (22nd); Patriots 234 (11th)

Yards per Pass Attempt: Dolphins 7.1 (19th); Patriots 6.9 (10th)

Completion Percentage: Dolphins 61.8% (20th); Patriots 60.2% (9th)

Passer Rating: Dolphins 87.2 (20th); Patriots 85.3 (10th)

TD Passes/Picks: Dolphins +10 (18th), 22/12; Patriots -10 (12th), 22/12

Complete Passes per Game: Dolphins 22.7 (15th); Patriots 22.4 (17th)

Incomplete Passes per Game: Dolphins 14.0 (20th); Patriots 14.8 (6th)

Quarterback Sacks per Game: Dolphins 2.9 (26th); Patriots 3.2 (2nd)

Sack Yardage Lost: Dolphins 27.5 (32nd); Patriots 23.3 (1st)



Patriot Giveaways: 0.9 (1st); Dolphin Takeaways: 1.1 (25th)

Dolphin Giveaways: 1.3 (11th); Patriot Takeaways: 1.4 (16th)



Penalties per Game: Patriots 5.9 (4th); Dolphins 8.3 (28th)

Penalty Yards per Game: Patriots 54.6 (9th); Dolphins 66.5 (25th)

Opponent Penalties per Game: Patriots 6.8 (18th); Dolphins 7.6 (6th)

Opponent Penalty Yards per Game: Patriots 61.3 (13th); Dolphins 64.3 (8th)


Football Outsiders Statistics and Rankings

Team Efficiency: Weighted DVOA: Patriots 21.6% (7th); Dolphins -24.2% (31st)

Team Efficiency: Offense DVOA: Patriots 17.2% (5th); Dolphins -10.2% (26th)

Team Efficiency: Defense DVOA: Patriots -5.2% (11th); Dolphins 10.9% (30th)

Special Teams DVOA: Patriots 4.6% (3rd); Dolphins -2.6% (24th)


Expect the New England offense to perform much better than it did last week. Let’s give credit where it is due: the Jet defense is one of the best in the NFL. The Patriots should be able to run the ball more effectively and also have much better success on third down than they did last week, which will lead to more scoring opportunities – and at the same time keep the Patriot defense off the field, allowing them to be less gassed and more effective as they battle the Florida humidity.

Prediction: Patriots 27, Dolphins 20

NFL Week 17 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread


NFL Week 17 Early Advanced Lines: big shift in Pats-Dolphins, Seahawks-Arizona odds

John Morgan
December 28, 2015 at 12:00 am ET

Before Santa Claus took off for his annual tour Thursday night, the Westgate in Las Vegas published early advanced ‘look ahead’ betting lines for NFL Week 17. The preeminent gambling house listed the New England Patriots as 3½ point favorites in next week’s game at Miami, and in a pivotal NFC game, the Seattle Seahawks opened up as 2½ point road favorites at Arizona. Both of those games dramatically shifted on Sunday night after the Pats and Seahawks lost though. With the Patriots no longer playing a meaningless Week 17 game the Pats began Sunday evening as an eight point favorite, and by the end of the night the line was up to nine points. In the NFC Arizona clinched a bye, but their domination over Green Bay coupled with Seattle’s loss to the Rams caused that line to have a swing of a full six points, from the Cardinals being 2½ point underdogs to Arizona being favored by 3½ points.

Here is a look at all of the Week 17 games with those advanced lines from Thursday, as well as updated odds as of Sunday night.

10-5 New York Jets at 7-8 Buffalo Bills
Thursday’s Early Line: Bills favored by 1½.
Week 16 Result: Jets win to improve playoff chances; Bills win but were already eliminated.
Sunday Night’s line: Jets opened at -1½ and the line quickly moved up to 2½; it is now now 3 points in several venues.

6-9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 14-1 Carolina Panthers
Thursday’s Early Line: Panthers favored by 10.
Week 16 Result: Bucs lost to Bears; Panthers lost first game of season to Atlanta.
Sunday Night’s line: Started at 9½, but has moved up to 10 or 10½ depending on venue. This has gone from a meaningless game for Carolina to one they need to win to secure the #1 seed in the NFC.

12-3 New England Patriots at 5-10 Miami Dolphins
Thursday’s Early Line: Patriots favored by 3½
Week 16 Result: Patriots lost at NYJ and now need to win next week; Dolphins lost to the Colts.
Sunday Night’s line: Now that this game means something the Sunday line opened at eight points, and quickly moved up to nine.

5-10 Baltimore Ravens at 11-3 Cincinnati Bengals
Thursday’s Early Line: Bengals favored by 10
Week 16 Result: Ravens upset Steelers, crushing Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes; Bengals play Denver on Monday night.
Sunday Night’s line: With Baltimore’s impressive win the line opened at Cincy -7, where it has remained steady.

6-9 New Orleans Saints at 8-7 Atlanta Falcons
Thursday’s Early Line: no early line due to Drew Brees’ status
Week 16 Result: Saints beat Jacksonville 38-27; Falcons shock Carolina but were eliminated when the Vikings won.
Sunday Night’s line: Still no line due to the uncertainty of Drew Brees.

5-10 Jacksonville Jaguars at 8-7 Houston Texans
Thursday’s Early Line: No early line due to Brian Hoyer’s status.
Week 16 Result: Jaguars lose at New Orleans; Texans crush Tennessee.
Sunday Night’s line: Opened with Houston minus 5½ points, a few places are up to Texans -6.

9-6 Pittsburgh Steelers at 3-12 Cleveland Browns
Thursday’s Early Line: Steelers favored by 9½.
Week 16 Result: Steelers upset by Baltimore to fall to #7 seed in AFC; Browns lose by 4 at KC.
Sunday Night’s line: Began with Pittsburgh minus only 8½ after their disappointing loss, but has since moved up to ten points.

7-8 Oakland Raiders at 10-5 Kansas City Chiefs
Thursday’s Early Line: Chiefs favored by 7.
Week 16 Result: Raiders beat SD in OT; Chiefs barely beat Cleveland to clinch playoff berth.
Sunday Night’s line: Most venues are at KC minus 6½, with a few at Chiefs -7.

3-12 Tennessee Titans at 7-8 Indianapolis Colts
Thursday’s Early Line: Colts favored by 3.
Week 16 Result: Titans lose 34-6; Colts win but are all but mathematically eliminated.
Sunday Night’s line: Most sites have yet to publish a line due to uncertainty with both team’s quarterbacks, but those that do have a line are at Indy minus six points.

8-7 Washington Redskins at 4-11 Dallas Cowboys
Thursday’s Early Line: pick’em.
Week 16 Result: Skins clinch NFC East with win at Philadelphia; Boys lose 16-6 at Buffalo.
Sunday Night’s line: This began with Dallas minus-4 but has been inching down towards three points.

6-9 Detroit Lions at 6-9 Chicago Bears
Thursday’s Early Line: Bears favored by 1½.
Week 16 Result: Lions and Bears both win, oh my!
Sunday Night’s line: Opened with Chicago -1½; Bears now favored by one.

6-9 Philadelphia Eagles at 6-9 New York Giants
Thursday’s Early Line: Giants favored by 2½.
Week 16 Result: Eagles and Giants both lose, eliminated in Week 16.
Sunday Night’s line: Giants favored by 3½.

10-5 Minnesota Vikings at 10-5 Green Bay Packers
Thursday’s Early Line: Packers favored by 5½.
Week 16 Result: Vikings with an impressive win clinch a playoff spot, after Packers look bad in 38-8 loss.
Sunday Night’s line: Packers favored by 3.

4-11 San Diego Chargers at 10-4 Denver Broncos
Thursday’s Early Line: Broncos favored by 9½.
Week 16 Result: Chargers lose; Broncos play Cincinnati on Monday night.
Sunday Night’s line: Broncos favored by 7½.

7-8 St. Louis Rams at 4-11 San Francisco 49ers
Thursday’s Early Line: Rams favored by 2½.
Week 16 Result: Rams upset Seattle; Niners lose to Detroit.
Sunday Night’s line: Rams favored by 3½.

9-6 Seattle Seahawks at 13-2 Arizona Cardinals
Thursday’s Early Line: Seahawks favored by 2½.
Week 16 Result: Seahawks lose, drop to #6 seed; Arizona wins big and clinches a bye.
Sunday Night’s line: Six-point swing from three days ago: Cardinals favored by 3½.