This Sunday, the Patriots look to move to 2-0 with Jimmy G under center. On the contrary, the Dolphin’s are coming off a close loss to the Seahawks and are looking to avoid a 0-2 start under first-year head coach Adam Gase. This could create an aggressive game plan from the Dolphin’s because they really have nothing to lose at this point. Here are my 3 keys to a Patriots victory on Sunday afternoon.
1. Solid play from the offensive line:
On Sunday, without usual starters Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer (who may be done for the year), the Patriots were able to give Jimmy G adequate protection. Cameron Fleming and Marcus Cannon both played very well at the tackle positions. This trend must continue on Sunday because Miami has a much better and scarier front 3 than Arizona. Miami has Suh, Mario Williams, and Cameron Wake. These three scare me way more than Chandler Jones, who looked like his old New England self last Sunday.
The defense kept the Patriots in the game on Sunday and allowed Jimmy G to manage the game. Miami really does not have that great of an offense so this could be a week where we see our defense dominate. The health of Hightower has me a little worried especially because it is another knee injury. As we all know, Bill believes in the next man up philosophy. Thankfully, linebacker is very deep this season. Lastly, keep an eye on the secondary. Logan Ryan is coming off a tough game on Sunday. He got burned several times in the fourth quarter by future HOFer Larry Fitzgerald. On the contrary, Justin Coleman looked really good. Just something to keep and eye on.
3. Marty, the Imagination Agency
How will the Patriots use Martellus Bennett this week? Will they again use him as an extra blocker, or will he be more of a route runner? With Gronkowski most likely out again this week with a lingering hamstring injury, I would guess the Patriots would continue to use him as an extra blocker. Bennett did not light up the stat sheets against Arizona but he still made a huge impact against Arizona. This past week, Marty said he likes winning more than 90-catch seasons, so we'll have to see how his attitude changes if the Patriots continue to use him in pass protection.