Two missed field goals in the same game is all that separates the Dolphins and Patriots in the AFC East. But those two kicks were missed on Oct. 19 and New England managed to pull out a victory that has them in control of the division race. In fact, the race will be over if the Dolphins don't come out of Gillette Stadium with a victory on Sunday. Will it happen? Here's how we see the game unfolding.

By now, it's obvious the New England Patriots are not just lucky, although they could just easily be 6-6 instead of their current record of 10-2.

Just think back to their games against Cleveland, Denver, Indianapolis, Houston and, of course, the Dolphins.

But the Patriots also always find a way to win, which Coach Bill Belichick brilliantly explained this week by saying his players are making big plays at key times.

No kidding. But the flip side of always living on the edge like that is that the good fortune, clutch playing, or whatever you want to call it, will run out at some point.

And we're just crazy enough to think it's going to happen this weekend.

New England has won eight in a row, but the streak won't get to nine.

No, that was not an aberration you saw from the Dolphins offense at Dallas.

It was the Dolphins offense operating the way it operated early last season before Jay Fiedler was injured at Denver.

Yes, it has taken Fiedler that long to regain that touch. Think about it, Fiedler was playing great football early last season until his hand injury and he was never able to regain that form until coming back from another injury this year.

That's one reason we like the Dolphins.

Another is the elements. It's going to be cold and possibly snowy on Sunday, and that plays into the Dolphins' hands because they have a better running game than the Patriots. By far.

Of course, the big "X" factor in all of this is the special teams.

New England has a huge advantage in that area, starting with kicker Adam Vinatieri, who is having a better season than Olindo Mare.

The Pats also have a dangerous returner in Bethel Johnson, who killed Indy last week.

He could make a difference on Sunday and the Dolphins need to keep him in check.

As is usually the case when the Dolphins and Patriots play at Foxboro, this game will be close. But we see the running of Ricky Williams making enough of a difference for the Dolphins to pull out a win.

It might not be enough to make up for the October loss and get the Dolphins an eventual AFC East title this season, but it's going to be a huge victory anyway for the Dolphins' playoff hopes.

The call: Dolphins 23, Patriots 20.

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