As confident as I may seem or at least want to be about this new and hopefully improved Dolphins team, the fact of the matter is that we are Playing the Patriots on Sunday. They are the most successful team of the last decade in the NFL. As Carl has pointed out, they will be ready. I am by no means an expert on game planning, I simply like to come to this blog to put my two cents in from time to time and I also like reading what others have to write and comment about so don’t take this as me trying to be some kind of analyst or something weird like that. Here are my thoughts on the season opener.
I whole heartedly believe that we will win this game. A few things have to happen for that to occur in my opinion but nothing that is unachievable.
First, as crazy as this sounds, if Revis does not follow Wallace all over the field, the Dolphins must create that matchup at least 30% of the time!! Why you ask?! I think Revis is the best corner in the NFL, hands down but if you watch his play, one reason he is so “good” is because he wins the battle at the line. He is a big man and he likes to play the hand check game at the line, maybe even jam you to throw your timing off and throw you off your route. He is not the same corner against fast receivers and Wallace is arguably the fastest one in the NFL! I remember that Ted Ginn JR gave Revis fits because of his speed, think about that, Ted Ginn JR!!! Now I know what you are thinking, and believe me, I am thinking it also, Tannehill and Wallace can’t connect on the deep ball so what does it matter, right? Well, what if we get a few of those illegal contact calls that the referees have been having a field day with? Or what if maybe, just maybe, Tannehill and Wallace hit one? It’s possible, I hear they have been connecting on a more consistent basis this week. Revis will for the most part get the best of Wallace but if we can get 1 or 2 big plays with this matchup then it’s a win in my book. Hey it’s better that Revis shutting down Hartline all day right?
Second, we have to run our offense at warp speed to have an effective running game. My thinking is that the Patriots have the best run stuffer in the NFL in Vince Wilfork but he is coming off of an entire season missed, he is a huge man, and he getting up there in age. We must tire him out if we want to run effectively and the best way to do that is to run a very fast paced attack like Lazor promised!!
Third, everyone is making a huge deal about Gronk and I simply don’t think he will be that effective on Sunday, the odds are definitely stacked against him. He missed nearly an entire year due to his knee injury and has not even taken any contact in practice or preseason. Sunday will be his first hitting in the last nine months. The Patriots will use him, probably mostly in the red zone or as a decoy but I don’t see him taking on a huge snap count. What I am more concerned about is getting some pressure on Brady. You have to make him uncomfortable in that pocket or he will pick your defense apart. He could have Pee-Wee Herman and Mr. Rogers as his receivers and if you give him enough time, he will find a way to beat you. I honestly don’t have a thought or a way of how they can get pressure on Brady, I just hope Coyle figures it out!!
Fourth, Philbin has to counter Belichick’s counter!! Make sense?! Philbin is really good at making a plan going into a game. What he is not good at is making halftime adjustments. How many times have we been leading at the half only to come out in the 3rd quarter and lose the game? To make matters worse, we are playing the king of halftime adjustments! Philbin must do a better job at this to have a chance on Sunday.
Lastly, as Philbin loves to say, we must win the turnover battle, or at least keep it even. No short fields for this Patriot offense or we are in trouble.
I hope you all enjoy the game this weekend and hopefully we will all be talking about a victory on here next week!