Monday, September 12, 2011
Patriots And Dolpins: The Keys To Success.
#1. Daniel Thomas- When the Dolphins acquired Reggie Bush in the offseason they planned on having him split carries with their rookie RB. Thomas has great upside and the duo are clearly an upgrade speed-wise over Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown. The only problem is that Thomas already has a hamstring injury, and possibly a case of the Lawrence Maroney (that would be tip toeing in the backfield before ultimately going nowhere). With Bush's injury problems clearly documented, and the Dolphin's 3rd RB being 31 year old Larry Johnson... let's just say the Dolphins need the rookie to bring his A-Game.
#2. Cameron Wake- Last season Wake had 14 Sacks (3rd in NFL). He's the leader of what The Dolphins think is a Top 5 Defense, and he's been doing some talking about "The Golden Boy" Tom Brady. Cameron says the key to beating New England is to make Brady uncomfortable with pressure, and hide the scheme's true intentions as long as possible, then hope he makes a mistake. Obviously that's a bit easier said then done.
#3. Chad Henne- Let's get it straight with Henne, The Dolphins don't need him to be Dan Marino, they just need him to be Chad Pennington with a decent arm. If Miami has a "Top 5 Defense" then all they'll need to do is move the ball without having stupid turnovers. The only Dolphin QB to throw more than 19 INT's is Dan Marino... the only difference is that Dan was throwing 44 and 30 TD's, Chad is only throwing 15. Rumor has it that this new Dolphin squad will be looking to throw the ball, less ground and pound. I'm afraid if that's the case, then Chad Henne has some serious problems.
#1. New England's New Defensive Front- Outside of Jake Long, Miami's O-Lin will be having nightmares with new Pat's additions Shaun Ellis, Andre Carter, and Albert Haynesworth. Miami allowed 38 sacks last season which was right about the league average, but the right side of their line looked awful in the pre-season, especially former Cowboy Tackle Marc Colombo. If The Patriots can get consistent pressure from all 4 of their D-Lineman I'd expect to see some pressure in the backfield, whether it be from them or blitzing linebackers. Chad Henne is no Tom Brady, hell... he's no Mark Sanchez.
#2. Nate Solder- With Sebastian Vollmer out, the rookie tackle could be getting his first NFL Start in his first NFL week. Solder will need to add a few pounds before fulfilling his potential, but New England doesn't need a Pro-Bowler over on the right side, they just need him to get the job done. In the preseason he showed some nice technique, but then again he wasn't facing Miami's tough outside rushers. Veteran guard Brian Waters, if ready, could help out the rookie if he has some trouble. If the trouble is too much they could always throw a tight end over there to help him out.
#3. Jerod Mayo- Jerod Mayo will be turned lose in the Patriot's new 4-3 Defense. As the weak side LB Jerod will make more plays, he'll be more free to roam. In his first 3 seasons Mayo has been a tackle machine, but hasn't exactly loaded up on sacks or interceptions. This week against Miami he could be a huge factor, not only with QB pressure, but also for busting up screens to Reggie Bush. Behind his wall of Defensive Tackles Jerod Mayo will be and All-Pro. Expect the captain to bring his A-Game in Miami.