NE Patriots - Your Keys to the Game
My Keys to the game last week were pretty much dead nuts. So I'll pat myself on the back.
We all have them, let's share them here.
Dolphins on Offense:
This might be the first game of the season that Henne really has to have a good game. So the first key to the game will be pass protection. If Henne is under pressure all game it could lead to poor decisions.
2. Taking advantage of matchups - I don't know how else to say this but if the Dolphins face a 9 man front and don't utilize BMarsh...shame on them. He is the biggest playmaker on offense and not using him often will result in a defeat.
3. Running game - I expect the Jets to come in and force Henne to throw. So there will be a ton of 8-9 man fronts. The OL will need to still open up a few creases to make the running game a threat. While I don't expect 100yds, I do expect the Jets to have to worry about it.
4. STs - These units make me worry every time they hit the field. Coverage has been spotty and blocking is non-existant. A big return either way could tip the scales.
When Miami is on Defense -
1. blitz a few times early, then back off - Just like with Edwards they need to set the clock in Sanchez's head then mix in some good coverage schemes. He'll generously throw into double coverage if he feels hurried.
2. Dustin Keller had a monster game last week. Miami needs to put Smith on him all game.3. Run defense - Especially on 3rd down with LT back there needs to be a focus. Sanchez can rarely beat a team with his arm and while he had a good game last week it was the running game and short screens that killed NE.
NE vs Miami
I'm gong to start with the defense because the offense should be able to put up points this week. NE's Defense is the worst in the division.
1. Pressure on Brady - The Jets picked their spots and came after Brady and had success setting his clock a little faster.
2. They are the best screen-draw team in the NFL. Brady does a masterful job of faking a deep drop and then handing the ball to the RB. How Miami defends these two offensive plays might determine the game.
3. TE - NE has two rookie TE's that are playing lights out. Miami has had trouble with TE's and if they don't have an effective gameplan going in to stop these guys, it'll be another long first quarter.
4. I'll state the obvious - Take away Moss and Welker. The Jets took away Welker, limited Moss and won the game. It was a good strategy that bears repeating.
STs - Again Miami's ST's are a mixed bag. Carpenter makes a few big kicks, then lobs one OB right when the team can least afford to give up field position. Brandon Fields has some great punts but then the blockers up front are a big time worry. The return game is non-existant. It always seems to me the opposing return man is one tackle from going the distance.
When Miami has the ball -
This is a game where I'd loosen them up with the pass and then pound them into oblivion with R&R. The Patriots defensive front 3 okay against the run but get winded late in the game. They essentially have 3 NTs playing as their front 3.
2. Seconday - Their secondary could be the worst in the NFL right now. Chung might be the only legitimate player. The rest can be had on a regular basis by whomever. A repeat of the Jets Game passing on first down would be a great way to test them.