While I do think today's outcome will hinder on a big play in the return game, I would be remiss to not mention Nick Folk. According to the Patriots Game Release, Folk has made 55 regular season field goal attempts under 50 yards. Should he make his next one, he'll be tied with Ryan Succop for the longest streak (under 50 yards). When was the last time he missed one in that range? Well, that would have been in 2020 in the season opener against Miami (in NE). The Patriots did win that game 21-11. Yes, that was the last time that the Patriots beat the Dolphins.
Back to my big play in the return game prediction for today. While someone may take one to paydirt, the big play I'm feeling might be a muff or irrelevant whistle that is a game changer.
Does this year's Patriots defense have the speed to stop Tyreek today? I think they do. Of course, making sure they get off the field early in possessions and don't get stuck with winded cornerbacks going against a hurry up offense are keys to getting burnt by the cheetah.
Have you ever seen a quarterback be truly successful with a crappy offensive line? Both quarterbacks have shown that they can play in the NFL. Who looks better today will come down to the play of their offensive line. While the Patriots offensive line got a lot of grief in the pre-season, barring injuries I think they will be one of the best in the league. Although fans were a bit disappointed in the team selecting Cole Strange in round one, I think his solid play will be a huge factor in Mac staying upright and having time to make the right decisions.