December 5, 2016

Matchups of the Week – Patriots vs. Dolphins

The Patriots are coming off a bye week to face Miami and their vaunted wildcat offense in what should be an exciting game at Gillette Stadium. Look for these 5 matchups in this AFC East matchup:

1. The Wildcat vs. Patriots Defense

wildcatFor Patriot fans the thought of the wildcat still lingers like a sip of skunk beer or bitter arugula (for the club seat fans). Last year, fans even had the audacity to boo Bruschi, Seymour, Vrabel and Belichick after the wildcat ran all over the Patriots D in week 3 of last season. Really Pats fans, really? The Patriots rebounded in their second meeting with the Dolphins and were largely able to contain the wildcat. However, the Dolphins have a lot more experience with the formation now as they have been running it all year and teams have not really figured out a way to stop it.

2. Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown vs. Patriots LBs

When the Dolphins are not running their wacky but effective formation, they have a very solid running game. Ricky Williams is having a great season considering his 2 year puff-break and is returning to his old dominant self. Look for Guyton and Mayo to plug the gaps and prevent any large runs.

3. Laurence Maroney and BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. Miami LBs

The Patriots have their own dreaded running back tandem. Unfortunately it’s their hair that’s ‘dreaded’ and not how opponents feel about them. With Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris out it will be interesting to see how Maroney and the Law Firm will play against a team with an actual defense.

4. Ted Ginn Jr. vs. Pats Special Teams

Miami had no business winning last weeks’ game against the Jets. They scored only 9 of their 30 points on offense. Ted Ginn Jr. deserved all the credit for that win with his 2 100-yard kickoff returns. That should have gotten the Pats attention. Look for them Patriots to stop Ted Ginn Jr. in his tracks.

5. Brandon Tate and Sam Aiken vs. Miami Secondary

Sam Aiken had his best Pro day against the maligned Bucs, while Brandon Tate came off the PUP list just days before playing in London. With Edelman out with an arm injury, look for these two receivers to step up.

About Dan Zeigarnik

Like Bill Belichick, Dan is a graduate of Wesleyan University. When he's not obsessing over the Patriots, Dan works as a project manager for a nonprofit organization aimed at helping Boston area youths. He has also managed a recent district political campaign.

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