The Dolphins will face the short handed Patriots tomorrow at noon in a division game.
The Patriots will get Amendola back but be without Talib, Veeren, and Kelly tomorrow. No Talib and Kelly is a big blow again to this defense.
I give my three keys to a Pats victory tomorrow.
Play 2013 defense not 2012 defense
– The Patriots really need the 2013 defense tomorrow and not the 2012 defense. Against the Jets they gave up a lot of big plays and couldn’t stop Kerley and let Geno play like Peyton Manning out there. Unacceptable.
When Talib doesn’t play the defense goes back into 2012 form against the pass which isn’t very good. Lets hope somehow we can avoid that tomorrow.
The biggest question is who does Dennard shutdown? Wallace or Hartline? If Talib was playing Talib would shut down Wallace and Dennard would shut down Hartline and boom you take away the Dolphins passing attack but now that Talib isn’t playing, it might be a weakness for New England.
I would probably go with Dennard on Hartline, Tannehill’s go to guy, to take him out of the game and double up Wallace. Arrington, a fast receiver has the wheels to stick with Wallace, and is only 2 inches shorter than Wallace. McCourty can provide safety help to prevent the big plays to Wallace deep.
But the Pats have to figure out a way to stop Hartline in this game to keep Miami’s passing game under wraps.
Secondly, Andre Carter, Brandon Spikes, Chris Jones, and Joe Vellano need to pitch in and keep the running game in check. Do NOT allow the big runs up the middle and freaking stop it. Simple. But being short – handed without Mayo, and Wilfork in there, and Kelly will be tough. When Kelly comes back the run defense should be a bit better but until then the Pats need to do some patch work to stop the bleeding in the run game.
Protecting Tom Brady
– Protecting the Franchise QB for once this season would be excellent. Brady has been hit 20xs and sacked 13 times in the last 3 games. No wonder the Pats went 1 – 2 in that stretch. No wonder Brady only scored 6 points against the Bengals and in the 2nd half against the Jets. Want to blame somebody? Blame the offensive line that can’t protect Tom Brady. That needs to be fixed or New England will continue to struggle.
If they give Brady time to throw he can slice up a defense and that is the biggest key for the Pats on offense tomorrow.
Receivers need to get open tomorrow
-Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, Austin Collie, and Rob Gronkowski have to do a good job of getting open. It is clear that Brady does not want to throw in the direction of Dobson or Thompkins and I can’t really blame him. To say they have unperformed would be an understatement. If they were to have a big breakout game then tomorrow is the game to do it in and I really hope they do to help Brady out.
But the receivers need to work themselves free tomorrow and take full advantage of the Dolphins weakness which is the middle of the field.