This week I swapped questions with our MusketFire.com writer, Jamie Pacheco, regarding tonights game against the New England Patriots. Here are his answers to those five questions. You can hit link above to their site to read my answers to the same.
The Patriots need to hold onto the ball and chew up time on the clock with long scoring drives. By utilizing the running game and the short- to intermediate-passing game, they can extend their drives and most importantly, keep the suspect defense off the field. The defense can make some stops, but not enough if they’re constantly on the field.
Tom Brady and Devin McCourty. Brady seems like a cop-out answer, but he is the most important person on offense and defense, in terms of keeping the defense off the field and putting up enough points to make the Dolphins’ offense more predictable. McCourty will likely be matched up on Brandon Marshall, and he has to contain him and not allow any big plays, and I consider and 11-yard catch on 3rd and 10 a big play. I think the Dolphins will pass more this game to take advantage of the weak secondary, so containing Marshall is key.
I agree with Brian when he mentioned in my questions to him that the Pats have the advantage at TE. Given the Dolphins struggles covering athletic tight ends, this could be a big area the Pats key in on throughout the game. As far as the other way around, I think that the biggest advantage that the Dolphins have over the Pats is their pass catchers. Aside from Marshall, Brian Hartline and Davone Bess can still pose match-up problems against the Pats’ secondary. It could be a career day for Chad Henne if the Pats haven’t worked out the problems in the secondary.
Given that it’s a road game and the Pats’ defense has struggled against even lackluster offenses, I’m going to have to go with Miami in this one, 30-24.
RB/WR Danny Woodhead, who was acquired from the Jets, had a good game last week and will likely see some more touches this week. He has good speed and is shifty. Don’t be surprised if he breaks a couple of long runs.