The Miami Dolphins offense vs Patriots defense could be a good battle

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 29: Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Miami Dolphins looks to pass against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 29: Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Miami Dolphins looks to pass against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The Miami Dolphins offense vs Patriots defense could be a good battle.

This weekend the Miami Dolphins will kick off their season and they will face a tough defensive unit but one that has been hard this off-season.

As we all get ready for the first Sunday of the NFL season, we begin to countdown the days to the kickoff of the Dolphins’ first game in New England against the Patriots.  In my last article, I looked at the matchups of the Dolphins defense against the Patriots Offense.  Now here is my look at the Dolphins Offense against the Patriots Defense.

Dolphins offensive line vs Patriots defensive line – The Dolphins had a busy offseason with rebuilding their offensive line.  Jesse Davis, the only player from last year to remain a starter, new additions of Ereck Flowers and Ted Karras (via free agency), and Solomon Kindley, Austin Jackson (via the NFL Draft) slated to start along with Davis for game one.  Michael Dieter and rookie Robert Hunt should also see snaps on a rotational basis.  It’s no secret that lackluster performance has been frustrating for us to see as fans and the additions are certainly poised to correct the perception of the offensive line as well as provide maximum protection for passing and running plays.  The mixture of veteran leadership and youth seems to be beneficial as all seem to have the right mindset to grow and become the best they can.

The defensive line for the Patriots has certainly given the Dolphins frustration over the years as they have tallied 8.5 sacks collectively since 2018.  The front four of John Simon, Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler, and Deatrich Wise will challenge the new line to provide the protection needed for the offense to excel.  Chase Winovich should see heavy rotation as well and tallied 1.5 sacks in his first two games against the Dolphins in his rookie season last year.

Edge –  Too close to call.  I want to say that the Dolphins offensive line will get the better of the defensive line for the entire game, however, the realistic side of me wins this argument as I think it will be a knockdown fight in the trenches.  The wildcard in this battle for the Dolphins benefit might be free agent acquisition, Ted Karras, who spent his first four seasons with the Patriots.

Quarterback vs Linebackers – Ryan Fitzpatrick returns as the starting quarterback for the Dolphins and leads the team back to Foxborough where the Dolphins last played and beat the Patriots to throw a wrench in the Patriots post-season plans.  While he may not be as mobile as his counterpart on the Patriots, he does run as needed.  He is a savvy veteran who is reunited with Chan Gailey whose offense he has excelled in.

The linebackers for the Patriots will be kept honest at least with Fitzpatrick under center.  They certainly will be playing for a bit of redemption as the Dolphins win at the end of last season still lingers.  Although turnover might pose an added level of difficulty for the Patriots.  Looking at the statistics for Shilique Calhoun, Ja’Whaun Bentley, and Brandon Copeland will get challenged by the wily veteran.

Edge – Ryan Fitzpatrick.  It’s hard to go against “Fitzmagic” on this one.  He got a win there to end the season on a high note for the Dolphins and with a familiar offense and offensive coordinator, Fitzpatrick should provide the same frustrations to the Patriots defense that he did to close out the regular season for the 2019 season.

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Wide Receivers vs Defensive Backs – Although several have indicated that it will be a difficult matchup for DeVante Parker and the rest of the Dolphins wide receivers, I don’t believe that to be true.  In the final contest for the Dolphins last season, Parker had 137 yards on eight catches.  The yardage marked the third time he has gone past the 100 yard mark in his career versus the Patriots (9 career games).  This time around, in addition to having Mike Gesicki, he will also have Preston Williams and Jakeem Grant.  The receivers will also benefit from having both Jordan Howard as well as Matt Breida in the backfield as runners as well as pass catchers for the Patriots to account for.

Defensive backs for the Patriots, remain a veteran unit with Devin and Jason McCourty as well as Stephon Gilmore.  All three perennial all-pro selections.  However, they have not produced much in the way of defensive stats against the Dolphins.  As a unit, they should be eager for some retribution against the Dolphins.

Edge –  Dolphins Receivers and Running Backs.  With new running backs as well as a healthy receiving group, It does seem like DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki will be able to build off of last season and Parker should have a realistic chance to break 100 yards against the Patriots again.  Jordan Howard tallied two touchdowns in his only matchup against the Patriots as well.

Coordinators –   New offensive coordinator Chan Gailey returns to the Dolphins and should be able to work some magic with the weapons on offense as well as a familiar face in Ryan Fitzpatrick executing his plays.

The co-defensive coordinators for the Patriots Jerod Mayo and Steve Belichick will provide an interesting challenge for the Dolphins.  Mayo is a former player for the Patriots tallied 109 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 13 games against the Dolphins while he was a player.  Steve Belichick continues his coaching career with the Patriots and looks to help the Patriots maintain their hold on the AFC East.

Edge – I’ll go with the wily veteran again.  Chan Gailey has certainly learned and adapted to this game.  Although the return to the coaching ranks could provide some hiccups along the way, I think the knowledge Gailey has about the game will provide for very few surprises.

Final Verdict –  As is always the case with divisional rivals there is certainly no love lost between the Dolphins and Patriots, however, I feel that the Dolphins could pull another win out.  In a close one Dolphins 28 – Patriots 24.