Tonight at 7pm, the Miami Dolphins finally kickoff their 2011 season. The Dolphins welcome in the New England Patriots to Sun Life Stadium and hope to put all of the questions to rest. Questions that have been asked since the end of the 2010 season, which ironically, ended with a loss to the Patriots. Will Chad Henne show improvement? Will the Dolphins defense be the dominating unit that many think they can be? Will the Dolphins offensive line hold up? Will the Dolphins be able to run the ball more effectively than they did in 2010? Again, we hope that tonight’s performance against the Pats, can start to answer some of these questions.
The pre-game injury report is out and there are only 2 Dolphins listed on it. For the Dolphins, Charles Clay (TE/FB) is out and Daniel Thomas (RB) is listed as questionable. Among those on the injury list, who are questionable for the Patriots: Albert Haynesworth (DL), Sebastian Vollmer (RT), Dan Connolly (OL), Kyle Arrington (CB). The Patriots had 2 players listed as probable: Leigh Bodden (CB) and Julian Edleman (WR).
This game is a HUGE test for the Dolphins. Not only is it against a division rival, but it’s also a home game. The keys to success in the NFL are to win games in your division and games at home. Last year the Dolphins went 1-7 at home and 2-4 in the AFC East. Yes, the Dolphins did go 6-2 on the road, but that is a tough feat to repeat. The Dolphins are 7 point underdogs tonight against the Pats. Not many expect them to have a chance, let alone win. If the Dolphins can somehow find a way to win this game, they’ll set themselves up to get off to a quick start. They’d gain confidence and the all important ‘swag’.