Keys to winning: Patriots @ Dolphins

Tony Sparano is no dummy.  If he could call Sean Payton and ask him for the keys to victory against our Patriots, I'm sure he'd try (I have no idea if head coach etiquette would allow such a thing, though).  Barring the phone call, it's all right there on film.  Now, I have grown tired of the term "blueprint".  It's been overused ever since we lost Super Bowl XLII against the Giants.  Yes, they pressured the daylights out of Tom Brady, but one lucky catch from Tyree and BANG!  There goes 19-0.

Anyway, teams would be stark, raving mad not to watch Sean Payton's dismantling of New England and glean whatever magic they could from it.  The pressure schemes he was using on Tom Brady freed up his defensive backs to essentially blanket Tom Terrific's two favorite targets, Wes Welker and Randy Moss, and leave him with very few choices.  Sam Aiken being one of those alternate choices, was overthrown at least twice by Mr. Bundchen.  But I digress; this is more about Miami than it is about crying over spilled milk.

One of the keys to winning will be shoring up some gaping holes made painfully obvious this past Monday:

  • New England has zero pass rush.  Maybe more accurate, a very spotty pass rush.  Tully Banta-Cain and Derrick Burgess need to get off of their keisters and make Chad Henne's life miserable.  Henne needs to be dodging a Flying Elvis or, at the very least, thinking one of those guys is right around the corner.
  • Fix the offensive line.  They are banged up beyond belief and seem incapable of giving Tom Brady the kind of time he needs and he needs more time than most.  Get Sebastian Vollmer back in there, if his "head injury" has been rectified that is.
  • Tom Brady likes his pocket and sits in it too long.  If you look at the 2 most successful teams of this season, the Colts and the Saints, both of their quarterbacks have insanely fast releases.  Drop back...BANG!  The ball's out of their hands.  Brady's targets should be running routes that allow for quick release.
  • Speaking of Brady's targets, Hoodie should assume Randy Moss and Wes Welker will forever be blanketed with DB's.  That's why NE should always have more targets on the field.  Send 3 to one side of the field and confuse the crap out of a defensive backfield.  Remember that 75 yard bomb to Henderson?  The Saints drew all of our defenders to one side and there was noone within 20 yards of Henderson.  It doesn't have to be Moss.
  • Pound that rock.  Laurence Maroney is playing like a man possessed, possessed to prove himself to his boss.  Well, let him.  By the way, where's Freddy?  Get him back there.
  • Defensive backs are playing too dang soft.  They need to pop receivers in the first 5 yards and make them think about stepping out.  Own the field.  Don't play like you're trying to prevent something from happening.  MAKE something happen.

Ya think Tony was watching?  I do.

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