New England Patriots (6-0) at Miami Dolphins (0-6)
That this could get ugly in a hurry. The Patriots haven't scored fewer than 34 points in any game this year while the Dolphins average allowing over 30 points per game. If that doesn't spell disaster, I'm not sure what does. Throw in the fact that Miam's secondary is in sad shape and the pass rush has been non-existant, you got the makings of a potential embarrassment.
However, could the Dolphins luck be turning? As it stands now, they may have avoided their first bullet as the Pats may be without their top 2 running backs. Laurence Maroney has been suffering from a groin injury and has been limited in practice all week. Some reports have said he's been ruled out while others say he is going to play. I don't know who to believe, but at this point, it seems unlikely he'd be out there. Their primary backup, Sammy Morris, will be out for a few weeks with a chest injury. What this means is that the Dolphins will be dealing with guys like Kevin Faulk, Heath Evans, and Kyle Eckel in the running game. Faulk, last week, had 47 yards on 12 carries and is certainly capable of being effective on Sunday. Evans, as Dolphin fans remember, is also a capable tailback. Remember back in 2005 at Dolphin Stadium, Evans ran for 84 yards on 17 carries in a 23-17 victory over Miami. The important thing to remember, though, is that any back can run behind this talented offensive line, especially when playing against the very poor Dolphins rush defense. So yes, the Dolphins luck out because they don't have to face Maroney (most likely), but they still will have to prove they can stop New England's ground game.
So that brings us to Tom Brady and the passing game, which will likely be the reason this game gets out of hand. Historically, Brady has struggled against the Dolphins to the tune of a 74.2 QB rating. He's completed just 57% of his passes for just 5.7 yards per attempt with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 12 games. But those were obviously different Dolphin defenses. This year's version has, basically, sucked. However, I stil ldo think there's one thing you can take out of the previous Dolphin/Patriot games. In those 12 games, Brady has been sacked 25 times. A majority of those sacks came in the games in which Brady played the worst. Coincidence? Of course not. This season, which happens to be the best start of Brady's career, Tom has been sacked just 6 times. Three of those sacks came last week, meaning in 5 previous games, Brady was sacked just 3 times. Clearly, that will be the main focus of this defense. The best way to slow down this passing attack will be to get after Brady. We saw last year in Miami how much Brady just hates being hurried or hit. So I say bring the heat all game long.
As for the receivers, we are all well aware that they are a total mismatch for this secondary. Will Allen will simply not be able to cover Randy Moss. So here's my suggestion. You double cover Randy all game long with Allen and a safety over the top. Then you take the other safety from the opposite side of the field and you cheat him towards Randy. That way you have 3 guys paying attention to Moss, who is the most talented receiver to ever play the game (bar none). Then you take your chances with Donte Stallworth and Wes Welker. The Dolphins also luck out because tight end Ben Watson will not be playing on Sunday. So that means if you eliminate Moss from the offenses by double and triple covering him, then you really better your chances of slowing down this high-powered offense that does come in missing some key players. Now, you won't be able to stop this offense. But if the Dolphins can slow it down enough to remian in the game well into the 4th quarter, then anything can happen.
So that's my idea. What do you guys think the Dolphins need to do to slow down New England's offense?