Statistics aren't everything. Any given Sunday and all that. In our case, it was any given Monday. We were supposed to matchup favorably with the New Orleans Saints. We were both in the same ballpark on offense (depending on which site you used, one bested the other) and their defense wasn't supposed to, well, do what they did Monday night. Statistics don't tell the whole story but they do give us some insight into a team's strengths and weaknesses. As always, one should take them with a grain of salt.
Statistical matchups after the jump...
I've used Football Outsiders' rankings to construct the chart below:
Looking at Total Offense, it would appear NE has a leg up. Breaking it down, our 2nd rated Passing Offense would have the advantage against Miami's 15th rated Passing Defense. Interestingly enough, NE's 9th rated Rushing Offense will lineup opposite Miami's 29th rated Rushing Defense. Where could Miami give us a run for our money? Their 17th rated Passing Offense will give our 16th rated Passing Defense a run for its money while the Fins' 4th rated Rushing Offense will make a go at our 10th rated Rushing Defense.
Defensively, both teams struggle but Miami's 29 rating in Rushing Defense has me believing Belichick could stress the run more than in previous games. I wouldn't be surprised to see Laurence Maroney with quite a few touches. The difference in ranking isn't quite as obvious in the passing game, but it's still there. Look for Randy Moss to matchup against the very talented rookie CB Vontae Davis; that'll be a cool battle to watch. I would also think Tony Sparano will try hard to neutralize Wes Welker. We saw what happened when Wes was limited by New Orleans. Look for more of the same as teams try to take away Tom Brady's favorite weapon.