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Patriots VS The Hard-Nosed Dolphins.

 

By TOM

October 1st, 2010

BB said on WEEI this week, "I think they have good edge rushers: Wade, Koa Misi. They've got some guys. Their big. Their athletic on the edge. They've got big corners in Davis and Allen, or Smith. Whoever they have in there. Their a big physical football team." Sounds like a Bill Parcels defense to me. The biggest difference in these defenses are the edge rushers. Miami hit on their edge rushers, and the Pats are still recovering from the loss of their veteran edge rushers, and hoping they hit on Jermaine Cunningham. I told everyone during the Draft that Cameron Wake is the real deal, and that the Dolphins saw him as a starter this season. He has not disappointed, and has 3.5 Sacks in the first three games of the season. The biggest advantage for the Pat's offense is Tom Brady. However, Chad Henne has proven that he can play near perfect when he can sit it the pocket and pass without being hit. So this game will likely come down to which team can hit the other team's QB the most.

The bad news is that the Pat's defense also has to deal with one of the best running games in the league. The Pat's defense inability to set the edge has led to some terrible run defense. That is not a good track record for going against the Wildcat. They will send someone inside and send someone out wide on every Wildcat run play. The defense has to read who has the ball. the good news is that the Wildcat is based on Ronnie Brown running between the tackles with a fake hand off, that will be the play run most of the times. However, if the edge continues to show vulnerability he will hand the ball off to Ricky Williams running wide, or a wide receiver on an end around. These fakes, feints, and trickerations are designed to slow down the defense. This makes blasting off the line in passrush situations just a wee bit slower. This is not good for the Pats defense who have to hit Henne to win the game.  

The Dolphins easily had the two best free agent pick ups this off season. Karlos Dansbury and Brandon Marshall have been revelations for Miami. The are both big, fast, smart, and strong. In fact, I think a fair comparison of Marshall would be to call him a 6-4 Wes Welker. He runs a lot of the same patterns. He likes to go short and underneath. He is terrific running after the catch, and garners a lot of YACs. He is sure-handed, but will have a drop or two early. Plus, Marshall, like Welker, is known more for his quickness than speed. He will be an absolute nightmare for the pat's defense in play-action-passes. They targeted him 12 times in the second half times last week (and 17 or 18 times altogether, depending on who you believe), and Henne could surpass that number this week. Marshall totaled 10 receptions for 166 yards last week. The good news for the Pats is that players usually don't have their best games of the season two weeks in a row. However, it sure looks like that Pat's defense is extremely vulnerable this week to play-action-pass, and this does not bode well this week. 

The loss of Fred Taylor, again looms large as it looks like Brady will have to carry the offense again. If only there was someway we could have predicted Taylor's injury, and prepare for it in some way? Oh Wait, I did predict his injury, and said trading Maroney would come back and hunt this team when all the old running backs got injured. Now, they have to pass to set up the the BJ G-E runs, and hope he can continue to average over 4 yards a carry. The Miami defense, like the Miami offense is tricky. Plus, they have three good Corners. The goods is that they have three big Corners. Big Corners have the most trouble covering little quick guys. If we only had small super quick WR who like to dominate the slot, he could really take advantage of them. look for Wes Welker to have another good day. The Patriots offense has become, as I predicted, one of the best in the league. Look for Hernandez and Gronk to have another big day against this defense. Their biggest weakness so far has been their inability to cover tight ends, and Dustin Keller killed them last week. With the Patriots inability to run and stop the sun, look for a shoot out again this week. Fantasy owners, start your engines. 

The good news is that it's a night game, and the heat factor will be significantly lessoned. The humidity will still be in the air, but the sun will be down so the heat will be less. It is suppose to be 80 degrees at kick off, and the second half should be played in the 70s, which gives the Pats a significant advantage in the second half. Usually the second half in Miami in September and October is a merciless sauna for the opposing team. They will not have that significant advantage this game. I always expect the Pats to play much worse in the second half in Miami, and now the heat and humidity shouldn't be as much of a factor. 

Now the bad news. It's like I always say, "the biggest problems with fans and media is that they forget these guys (professional athletes) are human." The biggest factor in this weeks game has become Brady's brain. How is he going to deal with the pressure of his wife's silly pictures. Not that truth matters now-a-days, but the truth is that the pictures are fairly innocent. His wife was at a party having a few drinks, and some guy glommed on to her, probably a guy working with the guy who took the photos. And if we know one thing about Supermodels, they crave attention and photo opportunities. Now, two days before gametime, Brady has to deal with an onslaught of vicious innuendo by a bunch of cowardly posers who never met the man, don't know him, or know anything about what is going on. But because he is famous they feel free to insult his wife, and he has to deal with it. It will be very interesting come game time to see how Brady reacts to this silliness.   

If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me:

patsfanmock12@yahoo.com

 

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