Dolphins (4-7) at Panthers (5-6), Sunday, 1 p.m., Fox
Latest row: Panthers favor 1 1/2 points. more/less: 42.
Dave Hyde, sports columnist (season record: 6-5): Dolphins 24, Carolina 20
Dolphins have found some confidence as well as their prime defense over the past few weeks. Cam Newton had a good first week in Carolina. But it’s a good set-up for the Dolphins to win their fourth straight game and help them salvage a disappointing season – and probably multiple coaching jobs.
Omar Kelly, Dolphins columnist (season record: 7-4): Dolphins 21, Panthers 17
I feel like I’m putting too much faith in the team that lost seven straight games earlier this season, but the Dolphins are heating up and Tua Tagovailoa’s accuracy and efficiency gives the team a chance to win every Sunday . Brian Flores just needs to get his support system – receiver, tailback and offensive lineman – in order to play well, giving the better defense a chance to win.
David Furones, Dolphins Writer (season record: 7-4): Dolphins 20, Panthers 17
1 on the quarterback and the No. 1 in the pass defense, but the Dolphins should be riding the momentum against another sub-500 team at home. The defense moves the Dolphins, and the offense finds ways to put together some touchdown drives or perhaps the defense can create a game-changing turnover. Getting acquainted with Panthers quarterback Cam Newton from spending the last year in New England helps, too. Miami should take one out in a similar fashion to their Week 1 win at the Patriots.
Kathy Laughlin, Sports Editor (season record: 7-4): Dolphins 23, Panthers 20
The return of quarterback Cam Newton baffled Carolina last week, and leaving Christian McCaffrey behind makes the Panthers’ rushing game even more dangerous. Can Dolphin Defense keep a lid on these two? The defense has been looking strong of late, especially against the Ravens’ impressive offense. It will be close, but I think Tua Tagovailoa will be good enough to get enough points on the board, and the Dolphins Defense will do it at home.
Keven Lerner, assistant sports editor (season record: 7-4): Panthers 23, Dolphins 20
Carolina leads the league in pass defense and is the number 2-ranked overall defense in the NFL. Panthers linebacker Hassan Radic leads the NFC with 10 1/2 sacks and has 18 sacks in his last 15 games. The Dolphins’ struggling offensive line would be hard pressed to slow him down. On offense, Christian McCaffrey and Cam Newton must move the ball against the Dolphins’ 29th-ranked defense.
Steve Sweckis, assistant sports editor (season record: 6-5): Panthers 19, Dolphins 13
Carolina allowed 114.5 rushing yards a game, which is good for an average of 19th in the league, but this middling ranking hides a deep statistical truth: In four of his 10 games, he scored a combined 784 yards on the field. (196.0 per game) is allowed. Against teams in the top half of the NFL in yards ran per game. They have locked out teams whose running exceeds the challenge of 62.2 yards per game. The Dolphins average 77.4 yards per game on the field, the second worst in the NFL. If Carolina can finish second and third on Miami’s long yardage, it could be a long day.