New England Patriots (1-2 overall, 0-0 in division)
The Patriots are pissed, as well they should be. Tom Brady sliced and diced the Ravens defense, but they blew a 4th quarter lead and lost the game to the Ravens, dropping them under .500 this late in the season, for the first time in 9 years. The Patriots passing attack looked great last week and they managed to get Wes Welker involved in a big way. I think the Bills are in for a long day on Sunday because I can’t see the Patriots losing their 3rd game in a row. Does anyone know the last time that happened while The Hoodie was the coach? Oh yeah, and The Hoodie is a little lighter in the wallet because he grabbed a replacement ref last week. Pretty sure he’s going to want to take out his anger on the Bills this week.
Miami Dolphins (1-2 overall, 0-1 in division)
We’re all still angry about the way the Dolphins lost on Sunday. We can only hope that the coaches and players have moved on because that kind of loss can effect a team for a few weeks. To their credit, the Dolphins seemed focused on correcting their mistakes and giving the 3-0 Cardinals all they can handle. It won’t be easy for the Dolphins, especially if they are missing Reggie Bush. Bush didn’t practice on Wednesday, as the team wants to wait (rightfully so) until the swelling in his bruised knee subsides.
If Bush can’t play, the Dolphins ground attack will be lead by Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller. The Dolphins must establish the run and take advantage of the aggressive Cardinals defense. The Cardinals defense is FAST and they have shut down the high powered offenses of the Patriots and Eagles. They also like to create turnovers, so Ryan Tannehill will have to be extra careful with the football. This is going to be a tough matchup for the Dolphins offense.
The Dolphins defense also has its work cut out for itself. Who’s going to guard Larry Fitzgerald? Sean Smith? I like Sean a lot, but I saw 2-3 plays on Sunday where a receiver beat him on a double move and was wide open. He can’t do that against Fitzgerald or he’s going to pay. The Dolphins must apply pressure to Kevin Kolb and make him get rid of the ball sooner than he wants to. The Dolphins defense has only 4 sacks for the season….this must improve if they hope to slow down the Cardinals.
The Dolphins have a tough test awaiting them in Arizona. Are the Cardinals for real? It looks like it. The Dolphins are heading to Arizona on Friday, a day early, because of the long flight and to adjust to the time change. If the Dolphins want to pull off the upset, they might need to rely on Ryan Tannehill more than they are comfortable with. He has to take advantage of the opportunity and keep the offense on the field by converting on third downs.