Pro Picks: Patriots ripe for upset by Dolphins? Nah.


Barry Wilner

AP Pro Football Writer

New England was pushed to the limit by the Jets. Miami has turned around its season since Dan Campbell took over for fired coach Joe Philbin. The Dolphins usually give Tom Brady fits.

Throw it all away.

Unless an opponent can play practically a perfect game, winning right now in Foxborough is an impossible feat. New York had the chance, made one critical mistake on Brandon Marshall’s drop in the end zone with his team up by one point, and Brady made the Jets pay.

The star quarterback credits how the Patriots make adjustments so well.

“And when you’re adjusting on the sidelines or constantly talking on things,” Brady said, “and Josh (McDaniels, the offensive coordinator) is raking through the call sheet to figure out something so he can spring someone free, which leads to some critical plays when you need them.

“And we made plenty of them there in the fourth quarter, which is what we needed. So a lot of it is trying to keep finding ways to adjust, whether that’s pregame, during the game, all the way up, like I said, to the last snap.”

Odds are, that last snap will be Brady kneeling for New England (No. 1, AP Pro32), an 8-point choice over Miami (No. 14).


KNOCKOUT LEAGUE TIP: Arizona made it tight with questionable late-game decisions, but held on. Next up in the survivor sweepstakes is ATLANTA.

No. 27 Tampa Bay (plus 7) at No. 7 Atlanta

We have so much faith in the Falcons, back at home, getting back to early season form to make them …


No. 3 Cincinnati (minus 1 1-2) at No. 10 Pittsburgh

Big Ben is back, Bengals see perfect season short-circuited.


No. 12 New York Giants (plus 3) at No. 18 New Orleans

Was tempted to make this Upset Special.

GIANTS, 28-27

No. 9 Minnesota (minus 1) at No. 25 Chicago

But not this, although it will be tight.

VIKINGS, 23-21

No. 2 Green Bay (minus 3) at No. 5 Denver

The first Game of the Millennium, 2015 style. A-Rod over Peyton.

PACKERS, 23-21

No. 17 Indianapolis (plus 7) at No. 4 Carolina, Monday night

Colts only win in AFC South. This opponent leads NFC South.


No. 11 Seattle (minus 6) at No. 21 Dallas

Dez might be back for Cowboys, but he won’t have Romo chucking the ball.


No. 26 San Francisco (plus 9) at No. 13 St. Louis

Not many teams Rams can cover this spread against. Niners are one.

RAMS, 24-11

No. 31 Detroit (plus 5) at No. 23 (tie) Kansas City

Chiefs handled Steelers nicely, will do same to Lions.

CHIEFS, 23-10

No. 23 (tie) Cleveland (plus 5) at No. 6 Arizona

Cardinals come off short week, but are ticked about nearly blowing win vs. Ravens.


No. 22 San Diego (plus 3) at No. 28 Baltimore

Two of the NFL’s most disappointing clubs.

RAVENS, 19-13

No. 8 New York Jets (minus 2) at No. 16 Oakland

Former nasty rivalry gone cold. Both teams on the rise.

JETS, 24-20

No. 32 Tennessee (OFF) at No. 30 Houston

Two solid contenders — for the top overall draft pick in 2016.

TEXANS, 17-12

2015 RECORD: Against spread: Week 4-9, Season (53-46-2). Straight up: Week 9-5, Season (69-36)

Best Bet: 5-2 against spread, 6-1 straight up.

Upset special: 3-4 against spread, 2-5 straight up.

Barry Wilner

AP Pro Football Writer

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