Tua Tagovailoa seeks sixth straight win against Bill Belichick as the Dolphins host the Patriots

NEW ENGLAND (2-5) at MIAMI (5-2)

Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT, CBS

BETTING LINE: Dolphins by 9 1/2, according to FanDuel SportsBook

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Patriots 2-5, Dolphins 5-2.

SERIES RECORD: Dolphins lead 60-53.

LAST MEETING: Dolphins beat Patriots 24-17 in Week 2, in Foxborough.

LAST WEEK: Patriots beat Bills 29-25; Dolphins lost to Eagles 31-17.





TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Patriots minus-7; Dolphins minus-3.

PATRIOTS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Kendrick Bourne. He followed up a 10-reception game at Las Vegas in Week 6 with six catches last week against the Bills. It marked his best two-game reception stretch of his career. He leads the Patriots with 34 catches for 370 yards and three touchdowns. He is looking to have his third straight game with at least six catches and 60 yards receiving.

DOLPHINS PLAYER TO WATCH: Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is 5-0 in his career against Bill Belichick's team with 975 total yards, four touchdowns and a passer rating of 89.5. Tagovailoa leads the NFL in passing yards (2,092), yards per attempt (9.1) and passer rating (110.4).

KEY MATCHUP: Patriots secondary vs Dolphins receivers. New England's 12th-ranked passing defense held Buffalo's Stefon Diggs to a season-low 58 yards on six catches last week. In Week 2, New England limited Tyreek Hill to 40 yards, which was a season low for him. The Patriots will likely use three deep safeties to take away the Dolphins deep passing game because it worked well in Week 2. But Hill, who is coming off an 88-yard game in which he had a couple of drops, doesn't typically have consecutive so-so performances.

KEY INJURIES: Patriots defensive end Keion White remained in the concussion protocol after sitting out last week’s win over Buffalo. … Left tackle Trent Brown is dealing with the ankle/knee injury he sustained during the win over the Bills. ... Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill did not practice Wednesday and was limited Thursday because of a hip injury, but he indicated after Thursday's practice that he will play. ... CB Jalen Ramsey (knee) saw an uptick in his practice reps this week after Miami opened his 21-day window to return from IR last Wednesday. Coach Mike McDaniel wouldn't say on Wednesday if Ramsey would play Sunday. ... S Jevon Holland remained in the concussion protocol on Wednesday after a helmet-to-helmet collision with teammate David Long Jr. against Philadelphia. ... CB Xavien Howard is still dealing with a groin injury and didn't play against the Eagles. ... LG Isaiah Wynn (quad) was placed in injured reserve Tuesday, which leaves the Dolphins with some decisions to make along the offensive line as they await the return of LT Terron Armstead (quad) and C Connor Williams (groin).

SERIES NOTES: The Dolphins have won five of the past six meetings and lead the all-time series, but the Patriots have won two of three postseason matchups against Miami. ... Bill Belichick is 27-22 against Miami. ... Mike McDaniel is 2-1 in his career against New England.

STATS AND STUFF: The Patriots are coming off a season-high 29 points in last week’s win over the Bills. It was the first time New England has had three touchdowns in a game since Week 1. … QB Mac Jones completed 25 of 30 passes for 272 yards in last week’s win over Buffalo, marking his fourth career game with an completion rate higher than 80% … Rookie P Bryce Baringer is tied with Jacksonville’s Logan Cooke for the NFL lead with 18 punts inside the 20-yard line. … Rookie WR Demario Douglas is coming off a season-high four catches for 54 yards last week. He had four offensive plays of 10 or more yards. … WR DeVante Parker had six catches for 57 yards in the Week 2 meeting with the Dolphins. He spent his first seven NFL seasons in Miami from 2015 to 2021. … LB Ja’Whaun Bentley had had five or more tackles in six of New England’s seven games this season. ... This will be Miami's sixth time this season facing a team with a losing record. The Dolphins are 5-0 against such teams. In their two games against teams with winning records, the Dolphins are 0-2 and have been outscored 79-37. ... The Dolphins have won 15 of their past 17 home games, which is Miami’s best 17-game stretch at Hard Rock Stadium since the venue opened in 1987. They have outscored their opponents 143-57 in three home games this season. ... Despite injuries along the offensive line, the Dolphins have allowed the third-fewest sacks (10) in the NFL and just 22 quarterback hits. ... The Eagles held Miami to its lowest points (17) and yardage total (244) this season. Tua Tagovailoa also threw for a season-low 216 yards. ... Miami's 54 quarterback hits lead the NFL. ... S Jevon Holland and LB Bradley Chubb each have three forced fumbles this season. ... WR Tyreek Hill needs 98 yards receiving to reach 1,000 for the sixth time his career and for the fourth straight season. He would become the first player since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 to surpass 1,000 yards receiving in the first eight games of a season. ... RB Raheem Mostert needs 25 yards rushing to reach 3,000 in his career.

FANTASY TIP: Tua Tagovailoa's success against the Patriots makes him an enticing choice, even though his second-lowest passing outing this season was against New England in Week 2, in part because the Dolphins ran the ball well. He spread the ball to eight different receivers in that game and completed 70% of his passes.


AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl