Patriots-Dolphins Gameday Preview

Week 1 is finally here and the Dolphins open up vs a division rival in the NE Patriots. Last year when NE came to town the Dolphins pulled out a big victory late in the 4th quarter with big plays being made by Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins secondary. This time the Patriots come to town and the Fins will be without Dion Jordan, Reshad Jones, and Mike Pouncey. So the Dolphins already are starting this game off behind the 8-ball and playing without 3 key players.

WHEN MIAMI HAS THE BALL: The Patriots pass rush is pretty good and the Fins have 5 new starters on the offensive line including a rookie at right tackle. I fully expect Belichick to attack JaWaun James early and often. Test the young rookie and see if he is ready for the big-time.  Hopefully Miami slides a tight end next to him and has the running back's chip on passing plays. One area where Miami can exploit is the middle of the field. With Brandon Gibson and Jarvis Landry I think the Fins can get positive match-up's with those two matched up against linebackers and safety's. I expect to see Tannehill in the shot-gun alot and a bunch of 3 and 4 WR sets. Spread New England out and spread the ball around to the vast weapons Miami has in the passing game. The Dolphins will win this game passing the ball. In the running game you hope (well pray) that Miller/Moreno give Miami something. I don't expect a big day from either but if combined the Fins rush for around 80 yards or so that would be outstanding.  But let's be honest...the Dolphins success on offense hinges on the o-line holding up and Tannehill making wise decisions.

WHEN NEW ENGLAND HAS THE BALL: This to me is very scary as I am not sold on the Fins defense just yet. The key to beating New England (as is with most teams) is getting to Tom Brady. Wake and Vernon must have a consistent pass rush all day long. I mean if Brady has time to throw then he will pick apart the Fins secondary and this game will be over with by halftime. I know people thinking Philip Wheeler not playing this week is a positive, while that might be a funny jab and give some a chuckle his loss hurts. Miami will now play a young and inexperienced player in his absence. Not the type of guy you want vs a hall of fame QB. The Dolphin secondary without Jones must step up to the task and the young corners of Taylor and Davis have to shine. This is their moment. Last year was a wasted year for both as they showed promise but were injured almost all season. Well, year 2 is here and no more excuses as both are healthy and it's time to step up and make some plays. Gronk is back....do I need to say anything else? The Patriots will exploit him I am sure all game long. I expect a lot of short passes by the Pats to exploit no Jones and Wheeler. The Pats running backs and WR's should have positive match-up's all day long vs young and inexperienced players on the Miami defense.

OUTCOME: If Miami had Jordan, Pouncey, Jones, and even Wheeler...I think this game would have been tailor made for a Dolphins win.  The Fins are just missing too much and are asking too many young players to play large roles vs a team that is a well oiled machine led by a hall of fame QB and Head Coach. So my prediction.....NEW ENGLAND 31   MIAMI 21

Comments

  1. James spent training camp and practice going up against Cam Wake. Do the Pats have something better to throw at him than that? I think he'll be fine. I think you see Tannehill out of the pocket quite a bit more than you're used to. He's a better QB when rolling out.

    Miami 31 NE 27

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