Monday night can’t come soon enough. The Patriots are looking to continue their regular season dominance with a win against the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football. The Patriots are featured as a national coverage game being the first of two on Monday night. They face a Dolphins team that went 7-9 last season going 0-2 against the Patriots. Not only did the Patriots win both games, but they destroyed the Dolphins putting up a combined 79 points while only giving up 21. I don’t see this week’s matchup being any different.
The Dolphins do have talent, but really are not a threat to the Patriots. This offseason they decided to mix up their running game a bit. They decided against resigning both Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown, and instead decided to sign Reggie Bush and draft Kansas State prospect Daniel Thomas. Both of which I think were good decisions. Williams was getting old and Brown doesn’t seem to have a whole lot left in him. On the other hand Bush is a solid back to have that can really expand the playbook, while Daniel Thomas is a back that seems to have a lot of talent and is also going to be tough to bring down given his size (6’1” 228 lbs.). However, Thomas still seems a little raw and will be learning the game more this season rather than making an immediate impact. Aside from the acquisitions the Dolphins had a relatively quiet offseason. They almost gave up on QB Chad Henne and made a trade for Kyle Orton, but backed out last minute. The Patriots still have to worry about playmaker Brandon Marshall, but he is really the only big threat. I see the Pats defense pretty much eating up this offense and dominating the game. Chad Henne still isn’t comfortable in the pocket and if the Pats pressure him often, he will be forced to make some errors. Their running game will lack against the Pats solid D-line and won’t be much of a factor. The Dolphins really don’t have anything going for them and I see this game being a pretty easy one for the Pats.
The Pats offense speaks for itself and will do extremely well against this sub-par defense. Brady will spread the ball around as he usually does and find a way to involve his new target, Ohcocinco. Once Brady gets rolling, this will open up the door for both backs, Green-Ellis and Woodhead. Expect the Pats to put a lot of points on the board in this one.
Keep your eye out for the newcomers on this team. Haynesworth should see limited playing time, but will fit in nicely and make an immediate impact. Ochocinco will be another nice weapon for Brady to get familiar with. And long timer Shaun Ellis will be seeking to figure out what exactly his role will be on this defense, but I assume he will get a decent amount of playing time and make some big plays.
The Patriots should roll in this one assuming Brady finds his rhythm early. I am guessing a 34-13 victory for the Pats. I see a few scores early and the game being practically over within the first two quarters. Let’s start the season off with a bang. Go Pats!
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Written by David Reid