Patriots vs Dolphins Preview: Anything Less Than Playoffs a Disappointment for Dolphins, Jets Giants Looking for Turnaround, Fantastic Action Headlines Early Sunday Games

Division Rivals New England and Miami Set to Square off as the NFL Season Gets Underway

Plenty of Intriguing Matchups on The Week 1 NFL schedule

The NFL season opens up with an appetizing matchup kicking things off when the Buffalo Bills, the current Super Bowl favorites, travel to meet the reigning NFL champion Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night. There are plenty of intriguing showdowns on Sunday as well, including an early matchup of AFC East rivals. The Patriots vs Dolphins preview is a key part of a look ahead to the opening week of the NFL season.

Pointspreads is getting you ready for Week 1 with a quick look at the top early games on Sunday

Game of the Week

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

  • When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
  • Line: Miami -3.5

While Buffalo is viewed as the team to beat in the AFC East, both New England and Miami want to prove that they will have a say in the division race. Here’s a look at the Patriots vs Dolphins preview.

Miami made major strides to improve the roster with the acquisitions of receiver Tyreek Hill and offensive lineman Terron Armstead among the players looking to help young quarterback Tua Tagovailoa play up to his potential.

New England’s offense is in the hands of second-year quarterback Mac Jones. Former Miami receiver Devante Parker is now with the Patriots.

When looking at the NFL Week 1 spreads, four of the 1 p.m. starts on Sunday have lines under five points.

Here is a look at the rest of the early games on Sunday.

Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets

  • When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
  • Line: -7

The Jets seem to be making all the right moves in the process of rebuilding the roster. There is a chance that Zach Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, could be cleared to start at quarterback for the Jets.

The Ravens are just hoping to get through a season without multiple running backs turning into reluctant spectators as Baltimore looks to return to the playoffs.

Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers

  • When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
  • Line: -2.5

We are not sure if the CBS broadcast will make mention of the fact that new Carolina quarterback Baker Mayfield used to be the face of the Cleveland Browns franchise.

Mayfield did help Cleveland end a long drought between playoff wins, but Cleveland opted to trade for Deshaun Watson. Watson will miss the first 11 games as he is suspended after facing multiple lawsuits for inappropriate conduct toward female massage therapists.

Cleveland will be able to run the ball after finishing fourth in the NFL in rushing a season ago and will test the Carolina defense. Carolina fans will likely be holding their breath each time often-injured running back Christian  McCaffrey gets the ball.

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

  • When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
  • Line: -2.5

Veteran Matt Ryan will make his debut with the Colts facing Davis Mills and the Houston Texans.
Houston is building its roster through the draft and there is still plenty of work yet to be done while the Colts are being viewed as a contender in the AFC with running back Jonathan Taylor leading the way.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Commanders

  • When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
  • Line: -2.5

This is not exactly the most compelling of the Week 1 affairs. There are those who are wondering what the offense will look like in Jacksonville with head coach Doug Pederson working with quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne.

Washington is the latest stop for well-traveled quarterback Carson Wentz while there are some injury concerns on the defensive side of the ball.

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

  • When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
  • Line: New Orleans -6

The division rivals are in different places at the start of the season. New Orleans believes it can challenge Tampa Bay for supremacy in the NFC South Division. This will be a chance for Jameis Winston to prove he is the answer at quarterback with the Saints getting star receiver Michael Thomas back while adding first-round pick Chris Olave.

The Falcons are in full rebuilding mode after trading away longtime franchise quarterback Matt Ryan and let the NFL’s leading tackler Foye Oluokun head to Jacksonville.

New York Giants at Tennessee Titans

  • When: Sunday, 1 p.m.
  • Line: Tennessee -5.5

Tennessee is not getting much love when it comes to the top AFC title contenders. Perhaps that is a result of trading away star receiver A.J. Brown. Running back Derrick Henry is back and ready to help the Titans not just get into the playoffs but make some noise. A knee injury suffered by linebacker Harold Landry is a tough blow.

The Giants changed coaches yet again with former Buffalo offensive coordinator Brian Daboll now in charge.
Defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, a top-10 pick in April’s NFL Draft, is day to day with a knee injury. Speaking of injuries, will running back Saquon Barkley return to being an elite back after being limited to 15 games over the last two seasons?

Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions

  • When: Sunday, 1 p.m.
  • Line: Philadelphia -4

The fact that the Lions are only four-point underdogs is an indication that the Lions could be a better team in 2022.

There is plenty of excitement surrounding defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, the No. 2 overall pick in April’s NFL draft. Along with offensive tackle Penei Sewell, last year’s top pick by the Lions, Detroit is building the roster by adding difference makers up front.

The arrival of receiver A.J. Brown could help jump-start the odds for NFL week 1, this is the early game with the highest total of 48.5 points.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

  • When: Sunday, 1 p.m.
  • Line: Cincinnati -7

Fresh off a run to the Super Bowl, Cincinnati will look to remain a factor in the AFC race. There are injury questions surrounding quarterback Joe Burrow heading into the season.

Mitch Trubisky will start the opener at quarterback for Pittsburgh. How long will he be able to hold off first-round pick Kenny Pickett?

San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears

  • When: Sunday, 1 p.m.
  • Line: San Francisco -7.5

Two talented young quarterbacks highlight this matchup with second-year QB Trey Lance taking over as the unquestioned starter after playing rather sparingly in 2021. Justin Field, also a high first-round pick in the 2021 draft, had a tough rookie season. There are still offensive line questions with the Bears. Chicago also lost defensive star, Khalil Mack.

There was plenty of drama during the offseason surrounding 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel and Bears linebacker Roquan Smith and their futures with the franchises who drafted them. However, things worked themselves out and they should have key roles in Sunday’s season opener.

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