Hello again, Pats Pulpit. It is way too late in the year for our first meeting, in my opinion.
The Dolphins D is as good a place to start as any. No team has really effectively ran against us, but you guys always seem to find a way to do just that when you need to. We have Wake, who you should all know by now. Up the middle we have Starks and Soliai, who keep runs up the middle to minimum gain. Odrick is a DT playing DE opposite Wake, so expect him to be a non-factor in the pass rush. Our LBers are not playing up to their usual standards, but those standards are pretty high for Dansby and Burnett. Our Safeties and LBers have been poor in coverage this year, so you can expect Hernandez and Gronk to do well. We lost our two coverage men this past offseason that can cover Welker and Smith has trouble with shorter, shiftier guys. The rest of our CB corps is terrible. Our #2 CB runs hot and cold, On a good day he is a capable #2 and on a bad day he is usually 5-10 yards behind the reiver. Our #3 CB should really be a nickelback at this point in their careers, he is also our backup S. Given this, the weakest part of our defensive backfield still remains the safety position. Clemons is alright in coverage, but is back in a cover 1 or cover 2 and useless in run support. He is a fine tackler, though. Jones is alright in run support, but take bad angles in cover 2 and doesn't have the speed to correct for these mistakes.
The Dolphins O is a run first O still. We have a two headed rushing attack in Thomas and Bush. Thomas is playing much better in his second season, taking snaps from Reggie. Our OL is average, though, and I expect Wilfork and his cohorts on the DL to seal up those running lanes. We have two WRs worth writing about: Hartline and Bess. Hartline can disappear, but that seems to be by design. We used him as a deep decoy to open things up for Bess and Clay underneath against Seattle. He is a big play threat that has become our catalyst for everything we do. He will never be a top deep threat, but can and will get behind your CB if you isolate him with said CB. He is a good route runner and can catch the tough ones over the middle. Bess is usually consistent. Bess works best when working the middle or any short pattern. Bess has the best hands of the bunch. Thomas and Bush are great catchers out of the backfield and each one of them will make a lone tackler miss with their moves. We do not utilize our backs much, but we used them to good effect in the last game. I simply do not know how much to read into that Seattle game yet. Our OL struggle pass blocking against really good pass rushers, but can hold their own against anyone else. The definition of average. Long is having a down year in pass blocking, but is as good as he ever was in run blocking.
I personally think Brady will have his way with our secondary and it will be up to Tannehill to play keep up.
Prediction: Patriots 38 Dolphins 17