Isn’t This A Shocker?

Intriguing Game- Week Four

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

Dolphins: This is the best start they’ve been off too in ten years and the thing about the Dolphins is we know they have the talent to have people talking about them. Right now, they sit alone in first place in the AFC East at 3-0. So, what’s been the change? Well, the first thing is having Ryan Tannehill back on the field and it always helps when you have your starting quarterback on the field as I always say, being healthy truly does make all the difference. The last time Miami made the playoffs, Ryan was healthy and Adam Gase was getting the best out of the veteran signal-caller. He’s an offensive minded coach and a few quarterbacks have all done well under him. Peyton threw 55 touchdown passes in a season when Adam was the offensive coordinator of the Broncos and Jay Cutler had the best season of his career back in Chicago when Gase was the coordinator of the Bears. The Miami defense has also been solid so far on the young season and I see Cameron Wake still has the motor revved up after all these years in the league. This is a huge game on Sunday for them playing the Patriots who are itching to get a win after two straight losses.

Patriots: The last time I saw them with a below .500 record, it was 2012 and they were 1-2 in their first three games. You have to realize something when it comes to this football team and that’s they are still trying to figure things out in September but when November and December come around, they will be there to win their division and wrap up home-field in the AFC playoffs. On Sunday night against the Lions, that was the worst football I’ve seen the Patriots play in five years. They couldn’t get anything going at all. I was shocked that they didn’t start Josh Gordon after acquiring him in a trade with the Cleveland Browns earlier in the week and they only had three active wide receivers on the depth chart. Nothing went right for them in that game Sunday. They were without three defensive players (Flowers, Patrick Chung and Eric Rowe), they couldn’t stop the run, Gronkowski couldn’t get anything going and the offensive failed to keep Tom on his feet at times. Despite that performance, they will get hot and hit a winning streak and we will look back at this and say, they really came out the gates struggling? I don’t even remember. They return home on Sunday for a divisional showdown.

Dolphins Player To Watch: Andre Branch– In the Patriots two losses, they’ve given up a few sacks or Brady has been hit. The Dolphins need to watch the film and take after that gameplan. Andre is an edge rusher that can get to the quarterback on his own.

Patriots Player To Watch: Rex Burkhead– When I think of Patriot running backs, they aren’t used as guys taking handoffs, they’re basically just other receivers and they use Rex in the slot quite a bit to get some space and it works. With a possible short receiving core once again this week, expect him to get his looks often.

Final Analysis: This game will mark the return of Danny Amendola, the former Patriot who helped the team win two Super Bowls in his six years with the team. The Dolphins have always played the Patriots tough, especially in Miami but this one is in Foxborough where they’ve struggled in recent memory. The Dolphins need to start early and score when the opportunity presents itself. They can’t come away with three points and expect to win the game. For New England, they have to tighten up and get back to the football that helps them win games. Dominate!

Prediction: Patriots 27 Dolphins 21