Miami (17) @ New England (27)
Miami’s tough schedule matched them up against another formidable opponent, as the Dolphins just couldn’t get the road win against a reenergized New England squad, despite some new Wildcat schemes involving Pat White. Miami utilized rookie Wildcat project Pat White often this game, acting as the point man to prevent corner blitzes from New England. The Patriots, well aware of White’s ability to throw, caused New England to play more cautiously, allowing Miami to create more of a cushion to produce offensively. Unfortunately for Miami, they just had no answer for Randy Moss, not that most teams do, as New England slowly pulled away for the big division win.
Chad Henne didn’t have a spectacular game, but he did manage to not turnover the ball, ultimately keeping Miami in the game. The Dolphins were able to implement a pistol-like formation found in most college offenses thanks to Pat White, allowing Miami to run a speed option to the perimeter. This new style of the Wildcat offense confused New England slightly, but more importantly, it will force future opponents for the Dolphins to prepare for that type of offensive attack. It was a successful game for Miami on several fronts, not only testing out their new Wildcat schemes, but they were once again very efficient converting on third down and won the time of possession battle. Outside of losing this close fought game, it was a win for Miami in many ways.
New England proved that they are an elite team, but Miami hung in there and had a couple more things gone their way, the Phins could’ve won. Miami kept New England out of the end-zone except for two drives, and forced the Pats to kick four field goals. Considering that the Pats racked up TD after TD during their two previous contests before their bye, that said a lot for this Miami defense. Holding New England to under thirty points these days is a win within itself, but they couldn’t muster enough offensive points to get the job done.
The return of Junior Seau really helped the Pats manage the game defensively, as this New England defense is really coming together at the right time, especially considering their production on offense. The Dolphins will get another shot to take out New England later on down the road and must use this game as a vital learning experience in order to do so. Miami proved that they can hang with the Pats, and hopefully an easy game next week against Tampa Bay, despite the Bucs coming off a big win against Green Bay, will help them get back on the winning track to make a run for the playoffs this season. Unfortunately for Miami, this brutal schedule the Phins have had so far makes every game from here on out a must win.
About the Author
Written by Josh Souder