3-0 Dolphins remain seven-point underdogs at 1-2 Patriots
The Miami Dolphins have managed to win each their of first three games this season, for the first time since 2013. The New England Patriots have lost consecutive games by 10 or more points for the first time since 2002.
And yet the Patriots remain seven-point favorites over the Dolphins on Sunday.
So what gives? This feels like a product of reputation. The Patriots have proven time and again that they are one of the best organizations the NFL has ever produced -- arguably the best the NFL ever has seen, given the manner in which the Patriots have continued to thrive during an era of parity (supposedly) and the salary cap.
But times change. Teams change. The Patriots have, on many occasions, used discipline, preparation, brainpower, and effort to overcome talent gaps. The past two weeks, the talent gaps have been too great for any feats of coaching strength to overcome.
This week, there’s another talent gap. The Dolphins are, despite the respective reputations of the two franchises, the better team right now. They are playing better. They are playing more effectively. They have won every game, getting better each week.
Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that the Patriots are desperate. But weren’t they desperate on Sunday night in Detroit? Did it ultimately matter?
It may not matter this Sunday, when a far different Dolphins team faces a far different Patriots team. With receiver Julian Edelman still suspended -- and with receiver Danny Amendola having jumped from New England to Miami -- this Dolphins team could be good enough to do what the Dolphins did in 2008, but without the Wildcat gimmick.