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Brown or no Brown, Patriots a lock at Miami

Scary isn’t it?

No, not the Antonio Brown fiasco, but just how bad the New England Patriots have been down in Miami.

They’ve lost to some bad Dolphin teams. Lost to Jay Cutler. Lost via the Miracle in Miami last year. Heck, they’ve even lost to a Joe Philbin-coached team there.

Ugh.

Well, we’ll see how much of a distraction the Brown situation all week has been, but we will probably more likely see just what a bad team the Miami Dolphins are as GM Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores tore it all down with the hopes of building it back up over the next couple of years.

In the meantime, we get a dose of Ryan Fitzpatrick, the patron saint of teams without good QBs. You can’t stop Fitzmagic, but only hope to contain him, right?

“Just try to keep him in the pocket,” Patriots safety Duron Harmon said. “When he rolls out, making throws on the run, that’s when he kind of gets really going. So we have to keep him in the pocket, be tough, hard nosed, have good coverage on the receivers.”

The other fear factor for the Patriots is going up against a coach, Flores, who knows them so well from being a former Pats (de facto) defensive coordinator. We all know what Matt Patricia did to this team last year with Detroit, causing panic in the streets.

Flores insists he’s not trying to build Patriots South. And he shouldn’t be.

“We’re trying to build the Miami Dolphins,” he said. “I’ll say that first and foremost. New England has their players, their coachs, their own organization. We’re the Miami Dolphins, and we’re trying to build something here.”

It will take a while. We like Flores, he turned the Patriots defense around. The Fish are another matter.

Here’s a look at our best picks for Week 2:

PATRIOTS 40, DOLPINS 10

Whether Brown plays or not – the NFL reportedly will not place him on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, meaning it’s the team’s call – the Patriots, as they proved last week, won’t be touched. The intrigue, if you want to call it that, is how they do it – big plays deep with Josh Gordon (or Brown), short catch-and-long runs with James White/Julian Edelman. Or will they run wild with Sony Michel. And we do think Brown will play. Tune in to find out, right?

TITANS 23, COLTS 20

Colts lost a heartbreaker in overtime despite the work of Jacoby Brissett to bring them back vs. the Chargers. Titans looked like world beaters in their opener at Cleveland, and often a team that looks great in Week 1 looks bad in Week 2. But don’t think that will happen at home.

BROWNS 31, JETS 10

How’d you like to be a Jet fan this week? Sam Darnold has mono,out likely a month? Le’Veon Bell, shoulder discomfort? Quincy Enuwa out for the year? Yikes. The Browns are a bit overrated because they don’t quite know how to win yet, but the Jets secondary is weak and Baker Mayfield will have a Monday Night party.

COWBOYS 24, REDSKINS 13

Washington at Philly blew leads of 17-0 and 20-7. They won’t have to worry about blowing any leads on Sunday, because Dak Prescott and Co. will be in charge from the start. We’re beginning to see why Jason Witten unretired.

SAINTS 24, RAMS 21

Rams QB Jared Goff threw for less than 200 yards yet his team scored 32 points on the road. So why are we picking the Saints? Drew Brees. Go with the better QB, and we know Who Dat is, even on the road.

STEELERS 17, SEAHAWKS 13

What? After what we saw Pittsburgh not do last Sunday night? Yup. Seattle is 3-13 on the road in September under Pete Carroll. We love trends, and even Steeler Stupidity won’t change that one.

BEARS 20, BRONCOS 13

Ah, another head coach (Denver’s Vic Fangio) going up against his old team. The Broncos just couldn’t get it going with Joe Flacco early at Oakland, and the Bears defense even in a loss played decent against the Packers in that awful opener. Neither team is great, but we like Da Bears.

LAST WEEK: 6-1

SEASON: 6-1

Tom King may be reached at 594-1251 or tking@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow King on Twitter (@Telegraph_TomK).