The Patriots didn’t have long to soak in their win against the Jets, a hard fought game right down to the bitter end, before turning around the next day to begin preparations for Miami. They face the surging Dolphins tomorrow night for Thursday night football.
It’s a double-edge sword, TNF, on one hand you have to play so quickly again so little time to prepare, but on the other you get almost a 2nd bye week after the game. The rest will be welcomed for a banged up Pats team.
Here are the 3 matchups for the Patriots to win to survive the quick turnaround.
1. DE Cameron Wake Vs OT Cameron Fleming
Wake has been playing RE lately and he’s been flourishing there. He has 6 sacks under new head coach Dan Campbell and he’s on a roll right now, so he will go against Cameron Fleming. Fleming a youngster from the practice squad will have his toughest matchup of the season on Thursday. I’m not certain this will happen, the Patriots may put Vollmer back at RT to handle Wake or maybe they roll with the kid and see how it goes. If Shaq Mason returns, that would be huge, but if not, this matchup could happen. It’s important that Fleming holds his own all game against the talented Wake. If he can win more times then he loses, the Pats will be fine.
2. DT Ndamukong Suh Vs C David Andrews:
Huge matchup and one the rookie will need to win on Thursday. Andrews has been great for the Patriots and in his football career, he has been consistent, something he still is to this day. He will probably draw Suh a lot on TNF, so his job will be keeping Suh out of the backfield against the run and pass. If he can, the Pats will be just fine on the offensive side. I like this matchup and it’s the most interesting one.
3. WR Jarvis Landry Vs CB Malcolm Butler
I think this will be the matchup, but it may be Butler Vs Matthews, either way he needs to win his matchup. He has a lot to make up for after his performance against the Jets, he was a liability more times than not last week, so he needs to improve this week. The good thing is, the Dolphins wide outs are not very big. Butler’s size matches up with Landry and Matthews, making it an ideal match for Butler. The thing is who is faster, Landry or Matthews? Because you may want Ryan on the fastest. But, the Patriots tend to favor putting their best corner on the other team’s best wide out. However, I could see Ryan on Landry with safety help and Butler on Matthews. Either way, Butler better come to play because Miami loves to throw. If Butler can stop Landry, the defense should be okay.