The Dolphins have never beaten New England the year after the Patriots went to the Super Bowl, going 0-5 in such contests (in 1986 and 1997). So just like against the Jets two Sundays ago, it's time to end another streak. Will they do it? Here's how we think the game is going to unfold.

Based on the fact New England has passed very well and not stopped the run, and the Dolphins have run very well and had problems stopping the pass, the feeling seems to be that this is going to be a shootout.

There's precedent for that in this series, most notably the Dolphins' 39-35 victory on opening day in 1994.

But for some reason, we get the feeling both teams will tighten their defense and the scoring won't get out of hand, like it did last week for the Dolphins.

The return of cornerback Patrick Surtain will go a long way toward helping the Dolphins deal with a New England receiving corps that suddenly looks like one of the best in the league.

Another factor here is the health of Pats WR Troy Brown, who is nursing a knee injury and won't be at 100 percent — if he plays at all.

But Brown or no Brown, the Dolphins will have problems stopping Tom Brady and the New England passing game if they don't do a better job of getting pressure than the Kansas City game.

While still not at 100 percent, Jason Taylor should be less hampered than he was last week at Arrowhead Stadium and that also could make a difference.

Brady figures to get some yardage passing but that doesn't mean the Pats will score 35 points, though. Last week, for example, he threw for 353 yards against San Diego but was picked off twice and New England was held to 14 points.

On the other side, the Dolphins are going to make sure Ricky Williams gets a lot more carries than the 14 he got against Kansas City.

The Dolphins are going to be satisfied with long, time-consuming drives, which is something else that should keep the score down.

Count on the Patriots to come up with some scheme to slow down Williams, but nobody has been able to do it so far this season and we're thinking Williams will get his yards — although he probably won't get 180 or 217, which are the totals Priest Holmes and LaDainian Tomlinson compiled against the Pats the last two weeks.

The heat factor also will help the Dolphins, regardless of the fact New England flew to South Florida a day early to try to adjust to the weather.

It's probably not a coincidence that New England has never won at Miami in either September or October.

The Patriots haven't won in Miami, period, since 1997, and we're thinking that streak will continue.

We were wrong on the Dolphins last week, but Miami at home early in the season is always a solid choice.

It won't be easy because New England has proven it's again a legitimate Super Bowl contender, but so are the Dolphins and we're thinking the Miami defense will be able to come up with just one more big plays.

The call: Dolphins 24, Patriots 20.

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