Dolphins (4-7) at the Panthers (5-6), Sunday, 1:00 pm, FOX
Last line: Panthers get 1 1/2 points. More / less: 42.
Dave Hyde, Sportswriter (Season Record: 6-5): Dolphins 24, Carolina 20.
Over the past few weeks, dolphins have gained some confidence as well as their dominant defenses. 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 save a disappointing season – and possibly a few coaching positions.
Omar Kelly, Dolphin Observer (Season Record: 7-4): Dolphins 21, Panthers 17
I think I have too much confidence in a team that lost seven games in a row at the start of this season, but the Dolphins are warming up and the accuracy and efficiency of Tua Tagovailoa gives the team a chance to win every Sunday. Brian Flores just needs his support system – receivers, defenders, and attacking line players – to play better, giving his improved defense a chance to win.
David Fourones, Dolphins Writer (Season 7-4): Dolphins 20, Panthers 17
It will be difficult to counter this Panther defense, which puts pressure on the quarterback and is # 1 in passing defense, but the Dolphins should use momentum at home against the other team below .500. The defense carries the dolphins and the attack finds ways to combine a couple of landings, or perhaps the defense could change the game. Also helping is an introduction to Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, which he spent last year in New England. Miami should pull one just like the Patriots win in the first week.
Katie Laughlin, Sports Editor (Season Record: 7-4): Dolphins 23, Panthers 20
The return of quarterback Cam Newton sparked Caroline last week, and running back Christian McCaffrey makes the Panthers’ play even more dangerous. Can dolphin protection keep these two in check? The defense has looked stronger lately, especially against the impressive attack of the Ravens. It will be close, but I think Tua Tagovailoa will be good enough to score 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 passing defense and is ranked second in the NFL’s defense rankings. Panthers midfielder Haason Reddick tops NFC with 10 1/2 sacks and has 18 sacks in his last 15 games. With all the strength of the Dolphins’ attacking line, it will be difficult to slow him down. On offense, Christian McCaffrey and Cam Newton must throw the ball in defense of Rank 29 of the Dolphins.
Steve Svekis, assistant sports editor (season record: 6-5): Panthers 19, Dolphins 13
Carolina allowed 114.5 yards per game, which is good for a mediocre 19th in the league, but that average rating hides a deeper statistical truth: in four of their 10 games, they allowed a total of 784 yards on the ground (196.0 per game). against top-half NFL teams on running yards per game. They blocked teams for whom running is more difficult at 62.2 yards per game. The Dolphins averaged 77.4 yards per game on the ground, the second-worst in the NFL. If Carolina manages to complete the second and third long distance in Miami, it could be a long day.