Dolphins Gameplan: Attack Tom Brady
Nevertheless, he is purely a defender at this point and the team will need to move him around and use him in a variety of ways as usual. Without Gronkowski to worry about, some of his focus should be veered onto RB Shane Vereen. The Patriots running back led the team last week with 12 receptions for 153 yards on 17 targets. Stopping him will not be a one man job, but a concerted team effort to force Brady into passing to his receivers. Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola have become his favorite targets, but neither averages more than 11 yards a reception and Miami’s secondary should be up to the challenge, as they have been all season. The team will be without Dimitri Patterson for the rest of this season, but Brent Grimes, Nolan Carroll and Jimmy Wilson have proven that there is no weak link in the secondary.
During the last meeting between these two clubs the Dolphins managed to keep the New England passing attack to 100 yards on 4.5 yards per play, while giving up 152 yards rushing on 4.1 yards per play. The Dolphins did a fantastic job of taking away the pass and New England was able to score 27 games with an efficient running game. I believe that every time that New England decides to run it is a small win for the defense, but the team should employ more front lines that include Odrick, Starks and Soliai in order to try to stiffle their running game. Wake, Jordan and Vernon should get lots of snaps too and there is no reason they cannot be on the field at the same time as these defensive ends have linebacker abilities.
Ultimately, the offense will have to win this game by building on the confidence of these past two road wins. Ryan Tannehill is doing a great job of making quick decisions as well as throwing on the run and even running for first downs. He is utilizing all of his weapons, mainly Hartline, Clay and Wallace and finally has a running game with Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas both providing sparks at different points in the season.
Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas will need to get a combined 25+ carries in order to produces something similar to the 156 yards on 5 yards per carry that they produced in the first meeting. Tannehill did not have one of his better games in New England; as he took 6 sacks and threw two interceptions. He should be able to take advantage of the home field advantage and the new rhythm that he has found in the offense to shred the Patriots for 300 plus yards.
He has mastered the speed of the NFL game and knows when to get rid of the ball or scramble. This new found awareness has allowed all of his teammates to gain confidence and play better. My prediction: Dolphins 30-Patriots 23