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Patriots Week Part 2: Can Dolphins show up better this time?

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NFL: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Two weeks ago, the Miami Dolphins traveled up to the Boston area to face the New England Patriots, a game that continued a streak of five straight losses for the Dolphins. The game ended with a 35-17 final score, with Tom Brady throwing four touchdown passes against Miami, with Rex Burkhead adding another score on the ground. Matt Moore started at quarterback for the Dolphins, throwing a touchdown pass to Kenyan Drake, but also throwing two interceptions as Miami continued to struggle on offense.

Fifteen days later, the two teams will meet again, this time in Miami and on Monday Night Football. Will this game be any different than what we saw then?

Miami seems to have some confidence coming off their win last week over the Denver Broncos. The Patriots are on a different level than the Broncos, however.

“They are a good team,” Miami wide receiver Jarvis Landry said on Friday. “They’re a great team. You can’t have turnovers and you can’t play behind the chains against these guys. They’ll make you pay for it.”

He continued, “As close to [perfect] as possible [to beat the Patriots]. No game is going to be perfect. Things are going to happen but I think the biggest thing for us is to control the ball and not turn it over. Try to end every possession with a kick, I think that’s the biggest thing for us, especially against a team like them.”

“They do everything well,” wide receiver Kenny Stills added. “They’re assignment sound. They punch the ball out and force turnovers. They recognize our routes. They do a really good job in everything, so we’ve got to go out there and beat them at their game.”

The Dolphins know what they have to do to win this game, and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh sees it as his role in this game, “I’d love to make [Brady] mad. My job is to piss him off and have him yelling at his offensive linemen for not blocking me, his coach and everybody on the sideline. That’s my job. No question. [Make him] uncomfortable, off his spot. We know he likes to drop back and throw comfortably and have this nice pocket; but my sole job is to disrupt that at all costs.”

The Dolphins have the advantage in this game of not facing tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is suspended after an unnecessary roughness penalty last week in which he blatantly took a dirty shot at Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White, giving him a concussion. That advantage, however, could be somewhat a disadvantage, as defensive coordinator Matt Burke explained. “The thing that’s hard is even if ‘Gronk’ is playing, this is a team that game plans every game you play against them, and they’re going to change personnel groups,” he told the media on Friday. “Not to sound like a total idiot but if anything, it almost creates a little bit more uncertainty. Obviously if ‘Gronk’ is playing, you know he’s going to be involved and he’s a factor that you have to account for. They’re always like this when you prepare for a team like the Patriots, but even more so now. You don’t know what they’re going to throw at you, really. They could come out and run unbalanced for the first 20 plays or they could go empty personnel. They could go three running backs. You don’t know. There’s a little bit more uncertainty. We always approach it like that. twitter.c

“We’re going to have to be ready for anything between personnel groups and formational things and what they’re doing. Obviously, he’s a great player and he’s having another great season. Taking him off the field lessons some of the matchup issues you have. Obviously you have to account for him; but sort of the flip side is it creates a little bit more uncertainty in terms of groups they’re going to use and some of the ways they’re going to attack us. It’s an interesting approach to what we’re going to see here.”

Can the Dolphins find a way to break a three-game losing streak to the Patriots? They are going to be facing the league’s top offense with a defense ranked 18th in the league. It was, however, a defense that seem to find their rhythm for the first time in several weeks when they showed up against the Broncos. Can that defense slow down Brady and the Patriots enough for Miami’s offense, ranked just 29th in the league, to actually put up points and make a game out of this?

Can Suh piss off Brady enough to force bad decisions and hurried throws?

Can Miami actually show up for a prime time game this year?

Can part two of the Patriots-Dolphins series be different than part one, just 15 days earlier?