For the second time in three weeks, the Patriots and the Dolphins meet up. This time they’ll do it on the stage of Monday night football. How this matchup ended up the only time the Pats appear on Monday night football is beyond me, but we have an extra day to wait until the Patriots play in prime time.
There is not a whole lot of implications riding on this game, so any players that are banged up may sit this one out to keep them healthy. Guys like Marcus Cannon, Trey Flowers, Van Noy, and Deatrich Wise might sit this one out on precautionary measures. Someone like Chris Hogan might return for the last few games though. He’s been out for long enough, so its just about time for him to get back to full speed and get his feet wet for the playoffs. Burkhead and Cooks had huge games against Miami last time, so look for them to see a lot of volume again, along with Hogan and Amendola. There will most likely be an influx of Dwayne Allen this week with the loss of Gronk this week. The Patriots need to be careful in playing they’re starters this week, especially with the chippy and dirty history of some certain (cough, Suh cough cough) Miami Dolphins players. Brady should not be overused, especially with how many practices he has missed lately. They also can’t afford to have their own chippy players, like Amendola take a possible suspension, and maybe put a target on their backs.
On defense, they’re gonna need some help out of their depth, which they have gotten all season. Butler, Gilmore, and Rowe are all limited in practice so far this week, so to keep them healthy they’ll need guys like Jonathan Jones and Johnson Bademosi to continue playing at a high level like they have all season when called upon. They will also need some help in the pass rush, with Flowers and Wise both hurting. Guys like Geneo Grissom, Lawrence Guy, and Adam Butler will probably play more snaps than usual. Newly added Eric Lee will hope to be a big factor on defense again this week. He was gigantic last week against Buffalo, and really came out of nowhere to anchor the defense and help keep the Bills from reaching the end zone at all. Miami is not threatening at all with a struggling run game, and mediocre QBs. Like I said last time, they’re receivers are the scariest part of their team, but without someone to get the ball in their hands they can’t do a whole lot. The Pats also had no problems handling them last time, so they should not be too much of an issue again.
This might get a little too close for comfort, just because the Dolphins torment the Pats in prime time. They may not be wearing the horrendous orange jerseys that haunt our dreams from 2004, but they are changing it up and wearing their throwbacks. 27-21 in a early defensive battle, the Pats and Tom Brady will prevail in the second half.
Written By: Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)