Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots: Key Match-Ups


The Dan Campbell era has started off with a massive boom experiencing nothing but resounding success. The Miami Dolphins offense has become a juggernaut featuring a steady dose of the running game and feasting on explosive plays. The defense has transformed from a unit incapable of stopping a nose bleed to a unit that is stifling opponents while contributing touchdowns of their own. Tonight the Miami Dolphins take on their most challenging opponent to date in division rival and defending champion New England Patriots. This game should act as a true barometer as to what team the Miami Dolphins truly are, this figures to be a competitive game but the Dolphins will need to win a few key match-ups in order to have an opportunity to to leave Foxboro victorious for the first time since the infamous Wildcat game.

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Cameron Wake vs. Cameron Fleming

The Patriots are in flux up front along the offensive line with their starting and back up left tackles out for this game. This flux has the Pats shuffling the offensive line moving their right tackle over to the left side and promoting former practice squader Fleming to the active roster to start. He will be line up against the Earth Wake himself who has hit the richter scale the last two weeks to the tune of 6 sacks. The Miami Dolphins will need this tear to continue if they intend on putting heat on Brady and make him uncomfortable in the pocket.

Lamar Miller vs Jamie Collins & Dont’a Hightower

The Fins running back has been running with his hair on fire as his head coach so appropriately described. His ability to get to the second level and make people miss has been on full display the past two weeks. The Patriots field two exciting young linebackers who figure to make that task a tough one. The winner of this battle will determine how successful the Miami Dolphins running game is and it is vital the Dolphins running game is successful because so much of their offensive identity and effectiveness is derived from being able to run the rock, it sets the table for their whole offensive barrage.

Tom Brady vs. Ryan Tannehill

This is an indirect competition but one that will be the key to the game. Brady is a future Hall of Famer who has only thrown one interception the entire season thus far, needless to say he is playing at a high level even to his own standards. Tannehill has turned it up as of late but is still looking for that signature victory where he puts the team on his back and wills them to victory. In a division game on the road RT17 may have to deliver one of the performances for the Dolphins to come out of it victorious and the odds are high in that favor because Brady is sure to put point on the board that he will have match stride for stride. Fans and pundits alike are waiting to see this type of performance from Tannehill before saying definitively he is worthy of the large contract extension he received this offseason. I’m not of this mindset but I can’t dismiss the fact that it would be sweet to see Tannehill rise to the occasion in this type of game on primetime.

This is a monster of a game, the Miami Dolphins just made it back to .500 and already are 0-2 in the division, a victory tonight would go a long way towards their season’s success. While it wouldn’t be a season ender by any means, everyone in Dolphins Nation wants to see the major upset of the Dolphins winning in Foxboro since Ronnie Brown was handing the ball off to Ricky Williams on jet sweeps.

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