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Week 8 X-Factors: New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins

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Logan Ryan is quietly putting up a solid season.
Logan Ryan is quietly putting up a solid season.
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots have a short week in preparation against the Dolphins, so there won't be too sophisticated a game plan against the Dolphins. The Patriots will ultimately create a plan that makes the Dolphins beat them without their best offensive weapon and the Patriots will need to continue to have a player not named Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, or Dion Lewis to make plays against single coverage. These two players are essential to that game plan:

Logan Ryan, CB, #26: Logan Ryan has been a fairly solid and reliable player for the Patriots this year and the team has trusted him with tough coverage assignments. Against the Dolphins, he may draw another tough assignment in Jarvis Landry. Ryan will likely be receiving safety help, which means he'll be trailing all game with Devin McCourty over the top. Landry is the Dolphins' top offensive weapon and the Patriots will take him away and make Miami go to Lamar Miller or Devante Parker to beat them.

Danny Amendola, WR, #80: At this point, he's safely earned this nod indefinitely while the offense continues to get healthy. With Dion Lewis' status up in the air and Brandon LaFell having first game jitters, Amendola is needed to step up and make plays for the team. For Danny, that's nothing new for him as he had a 100 yard game against Indianapolis followed up by two acrobatic 4th quarter catches that helped the Patriots put away the Jets. Amendola is rarely Brady's first read, but the offensive line has given him time to progress to his 2nd reads, which is when Amendola gets open.