Dolphins Patriots Prediction: Will Miami drop 4 games and end New England’s playoff hopes?

Patriots (7-8) at Dolphins (8-7), Sunday 1 p.m., CBS

Latest Line: Patriots Favored 3 points.

Dave Hyde, sports columnist (season record: 10-5): Patriots 20, Dolphins 17

Two struggling teams meeting in the playoffs, well, it’s hard to bet on Bill Belichick in this game. He has defense. He has home ground. The deciding factor wasn’t Teddy Bridgewater replacing Tuata Goviloa, but the struggling Dolphins’ four-game losing streak in all corners of the map.

Chris Perkins, Dolphins columnist (season record: 8-7): Dolphins 24, Patriots 20

It’s time for the Dolphins to do a gut check (again), and this time they’ll get the job done. Ignore the Dolphins quarterback situation, with Tua Tagovailoa sidelined with a concussion. When you consider how the Dolphins are going to win this game, look at the other key players on the team — Tron Armstead, Tyreke Hill, Xavier Howard, Jaylen Waddle, Brad Deli Chubb, Jayran Phillips and others.

David Frones, Dolphins writer (season record: 11-4): Dolphins 20, Patriots 16

I have a weird feeling that with everything going against the Dolphins — a four-game losing streak and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s return to concussion protocol — this is their turnaround week. Teddy Bridgewater managed the game well and passed the ball to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Maybe the running race is on. The Patriots offense didn’t scare anyone, so the defense could win in the end. Playing in New England is also less intimidating than it used to be, and the weather might actually be conducive to a late-season visit to Foxborough.

Casey Laughlin, sports editor (season record: 10-5): Patriots 27, Dolphins 24

With Tua Tagovailoa in concussion protocol, it doesn’t look like the Dolphins will fix their problems anytime soon. While veteran Teddy Bridgewater is capable of leading the Dolphins to an upset road win, New England’s stellar defense will be up for the challenge heading into the season. If the Patriots lose, they will be eliminated from playoff contention. I just don’t see this happening.

Keven Lerner, assistant sports editor (season record: 9-6): Patriots 23, Dolphins 20

The Dolphins, chasing their first playoff berth since 2016, will struggle to win in New England with a backup quarterback — while the Patriots face a must-win situation . While Miami (8-7) can win one of its final two games, New England (7-8) must win its final two games for a wild-card berth. The shaky Dolphins are winless in December and have lost four straight.

Steve Svekis, assistant sports editor (season record: 10-5): Dolphins 18, Patriots 16

Miami’s defense dominated the Patriots’ offense led by Mike Jones, who scored three touchdowns in three starts against the Dolphins while allowing just 14.3 points per game. If the Dolphins shut down Patriots running back Raymond Stevenson as they did in the season opener, it will be hard for New England to find a way to win.