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Gametime: Dolphins At Patriots

The Teams: Miami Dolphins (0-2) At New England Patriots (2-0)
The Terms: Regular Season Week 3
The Place: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass
The Time: 1:00pm
The Channel: CBS
3 Burning Questions:

  1. Will Randy Moss be involved more often? Let’s sure hope so. Moss was pretty much a non-factor in last week’s win over the Jets and it’s evident the quarterback/wide receiver relationship between him and Matt Cassel will need time to develop. Moss did run a few slants near the end of the game last week which got him involved, but with Cassel not throwing the ball deep Moss becomes nothing more than a (very expensive) decoy. I think with a full two weeks of practice together, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will get Moss involved both by throwing it deep and keeping Moss in the slot more often. Look for 6 catches, 85 yards and a TD from No. 81 today.
  2. Will the secondary keep up the good work: Last week against the Jets both Ellis Hobbs and Deltha O’Neal made some outstanding plays to keep Brett Favre and the Jet WRs from making the big play. O’Neal has had two strong weeks in a row starting at cornerback and his veteran presence has seemed to have had an effect on some of the other guys. The Dolphins don’t possess the quarterback or stable of wide receivers that are comparable to the Jets (hello Ted Ginn Jr.) yet Chad Pennington does like to throw underneath a lot. Against the Jets the Pats corners played off the wide receivers because – as much as I despise him – Favre does have a cannon arm and can beat you deep. The secondary have to press up harder against the dolphins to keep them in third and long opportunities and get off the field quicker. These are the types of games where Asante Samuel would be able to guess a route correctly, pick it off and take it back for six. Let’s see how Hobbs and O’Neal fare against this mediocre offensive unit.
  3. Who’s our running back?
  4. With LaMont Jordan (foot) listed as doubtful and Laurence Maroney (shoulder) questionable for today’s game it will be up to Sammy Morris and Kevin Faulk to carry the load. They each bring different qualities to the table, Morris is more of the pounding runner inside and we all know Faulk’s value on third down runs and catches out of the backfield. With Maroney failing to impress so far this year it’s been Morris, Faulk and Jordan each having solid chunks of contribution. If he garners a lot of carries Morris has the potential to run for 100 yards, especially against his old team the Dolphins.

Prediction

This match up sounds like one that could give the Patriots problems as Bill Parcells makes yet another return to the Commonwealth. But as it was last week, the match ups on paper favor the Pats all over the field. There aren’t enough weapons on the Dolphins roster to overtake the bend-don’t-break defense the Patriots have and the diversity on the offensive side of the ball. The Patriots have a bye week next week so there is no reason to hold back in this one, and if Cassel and the offense get off to a good start it could be a decisive win at The Razor.

Patriots 31, Dolphins 20

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Discussion

One comment for “Gametime: Dolphins At Patriots”

  1. I’m watching the game as I type this and didn’t anticipate this. I’m crossing my fingers.

    Posted by Boston Knucklehead | September 21, 2008, 2:04 pm

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