Pats Preview: Pats Vs. Dolphins
As the New England Patriots prepare for their Week 12 divisional battle with the Miami Dolphins, here are some pregame story lines to keep in mind:
Brady Hobbled?- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had been a limited participant in practice early this week with an Achilles injury. Brady was removed from the team's injury report, following Friday's practice, and said he was good to go for the game, but the injury is worth keeping an eye on. With guys like Ndamukong Suh and Kiko Alonso, who have checked pasts in regards to dirty play and late hits, playing key roles on defense, the Dolphins are a team that could make you hold your breathe. Brady's toughness and ability to play through injuries is well documented and impressive, but, with dirty players on the other side of the ball, there's always a risk.
Looking For 7- The Pats will be looking for their seventh win in a row on Sunday. After struggling through the first quarter of the season, New England has seemingly hit its stride, playing well on offense and improving what was a porous defense at the start.
Keep Piling On- After going 4-2 through the first six weeks of the season, the Dolphins have fallen apart as of late. Miami has dropped four straight games, having given up at least 27 points in each contest. The Pats will look to keep piling on to that negative stretch, come Sunday.
Poised For A Big Day- The Patriot offense looks to be poised for a big day, coming into a game against a defense that has given up an average of 35.5 points per game over their last four contests. After a four game lull, in which they scored no more than 24 points, themselves, the Pats have been clicking on offense the last two weeks. In wins over the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders, New England scored 74 total points. When you throw a hot offense on the field against an ice cold defense that's part of a sicking ship, it typically calls for a lopsided affair.
Turnover Battle- The turnover battle is always an important part of the game to watch. Sunday's game will have a battle between two teams going in absolutely different directions, in terms of that battle. New England enters the game with an impressive +8 turnover differential, while the Dolphins are a woeful -9 in turnovers. Both teams overall records directly correlate with those stats.
Prediction- If I was in the business of pick mortal locks, this might be the game that I would place that tag on. Everything has been going right for the Pats, while the Dolphins can't seem to do much of anything right in any phase of the game, lately. With a back up quarterback leading a struggling offense and a defense that has forgotten how to make stops coming into Gillette Stadium, expect the Pats to put a beat down on their divisional rival.
Pats 46, Dolphins 16