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MNF: Dolphins need a masterpiece to win

Yes, the Dolphins play tonight against their feeder team, the Dallas Cowboys. Yes, there will be a live blog. And yes, this is the final preseason game.

So next up is the Monday night regular-season opener against New England. There are approximately 5,000 tickets left for that tilt. Unlike tonight's preseason-finale, the Dolphins expect to sell out that one.

But what happens in that game will set the tone for the rest of the season. ESPN will broadcast the game as part of a doubleheader with Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden on board for the call. They recently held a national conference call to talk about that game and the slate of games coming on Monday night.

The trio was asked to size up the two teams, including a critical look at their offensive lines, both of which struggled in their most recent preseason games -- the Dolphins versus Tampa Bay and the Patriots against Detroit.

JAWORSKI: "We all know that Detroit put a lot of energy into that game. It wasn't a show‑off preseason game. They wanted to show they were going to be for real. They really did torch the Patriots offensive line. I'm sure it's not been a good week at practice for the Patriots. It's an area they certainly have to get better. Tom Brady got hit too many times. He got flushed from the pocket too many times.

"You know what happens. This is a copycat league. We all know the Dolphins can play pretty darn good defense, and Cameron Wake can get after the quarterback. They're going to look at that tape and say, 'Hey, that was the Detroit Lions. I know it was a preseason game, but look at the individual matchups. They were winning up front.' When the Dolphins look at that tape, they're going to glean something positive out of that tape. They're probably going to look back and see Brady get rattled against theJets last year in the playoff game. When I look at this matchup, I think it's going to come down to that Patriots offensive line against that Miami defense, which is much improved again. They've got a wealth of talent on that front seven.

TIRICO: "Since I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and you have two Michigan quarterbacks going head to head, Tom Brady and Chad Henne. You know everything about Brady, obviously unanimous MVP. But what a huge game for Henne, and if you think about it over the last couple of years, Chad Henne's games have come earlier in the year, nationally televised games. So a very important game not just for Chad but for Miami.

"There is so much, I gu0ess, lack of clear messaging coming from the Dolphins during the off‑season. Would there be a new head coach? Would there be a new quarterback? Well, the same two guys are in the two most important positions in football. So they're feeling that pressure.

"Their schedule early on is difficult, and there's a lot rolled into this game at home. If they can get one against the Patriots and gain some confidence, can Reggie Bush have a good game in his debut? Brandon Marshall, after another off‑season with issuesand problems, I think we all always know approximately what we're going to get from the Patriots. There's such consistency in the regular season from Belichick.

"So Miami is the wild card to me. And will those guys who are put, I guess, on the ledge a little bit in terms of their future with the Dolphins, will they come up with big games with everybody watching first game of the regular season? To me, that'sthe big curiosity factor of the game going in."

GRUDEN: "I'm not as concerned about New England, nor am I as concerned about the offensive line after the Detroit Lions game. I credit Detroit with playing great at home. I think after being pummeled on Thanksgiving Day by the Patriots a year before, making numerous mistakes, they rose to the challenge. But I don't put as much stock in preseason games maybe as others.

"I think New England is the team to beat in the AFC this year for obvious reasons. They got the best coach, and they have the best quarterback combination. You could argue that, but they're dynamic. And I think their young players that emerged and exploded onto the scene last year will be even better. Hernandez, Gronkowski, a number of players will even be better this year than they were a year ago.

"I just have a lot of questions about the Dolphins. They've got a new offensive coordinator. They've got a completely new cast of running backs. Ronnie and Ricky are gone, and Chad Henne, he's going to really have to put a masterpiece together, I believe,to beat the New England Patriots in an opener."

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Brady quits if you hit him in the mouth. My question is: will it be Cam Wake or JT (or someone else) who makes the first hit on him? That will be the important one that intimidates him into playing tentative/scared.

ALoco,

I told you about that 'caps lock' button before, lol.

Gator Nation gives you , Tim Tebow.

I hope Tony is not serious about Columbo starting. And Carey, who knows how he'll do at guard. They HAVE to do something with that right side.

Other than the OL, I like the improvements to the offense. I even think D. Thomas will be OK with a little seasoning and improved OL play. I just hope Bush stays healthy, because he can really be explosive.

Our defense is improved with Burnett replacing Crowder, and the young guys have more experience. Year 2 under Nolan should be even better than last year. Just please catch those INT's.

As far as beating NE in game 1, it absolutely can happen. I'd be more optimistic about it if they made a trade for a quality RT to replace Columbo, but here's to hoping for the best.

GO FINS!

Anyone have a real free internet address to watch the game? Dolfan in NC. Please help!!!

NE will be a tough 2 games and Philly will be tough.
Other than that ALL of the other games are winnable.

I think snihplod will devour Brady. Remember how Flipper would defeat the big, bad sharks by attacking their soft white underbellies? Well, just picture girly man Brady's chin as a shark's soft white underbelly and there you have it.

Snihplod says I maim!

Darryl,

Here is the link http://www.finsnation.com/ by the way they always put up a cover girl of the week over there as well and this weeks girl is a babe fest!

Everyone is over thinking this.

Who has the better team, Miami, or the NE Patriots?

There you go.

Come on Dolphins beat those cowboys.

killshot,
it's not free but you can watch tonight's game on nfl.com's game pass. i think it will only be 4.99 to watch.

i have the game cued up right now. it will start at 7:30

fin4life-

I decided to check out the blog you posted about (you got me with the cover girl comment) and I have to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH. She is a sight to behold, my friend. WOW!

Fist Pump-

The truth is nobody REALLY knows who has the better team yet. This year's version of each team has not been unleashed yet.

That's why they play the games.

Ok, "feeder team" made me laugh. Out loud. LOL ya know.

No need to pay! Go to soocertvlive or firstrow.eu and see the games FREE!

Some links are in HD - High Definition. Its streaming now...

Going to watch the game, hope Jimmy Wilson and Roberto Wallace have big games, I'd like to keep those two. Not to mention Thomas, who should get a lot of action.

I maim!

Go Dolphins

I'm available.....

as a dolphin big time fan why can i not watch the presisson game on tv 9-1-11 Thank you

webber, please give me the site with eu in the name

larry johnson is feeling a lot of love in da house.

Aloco
I have the site wwwpinoycable.net
It's working please don't tell anybody else
LOL!!! Go PHINS !!!

Miami will beat the Patriots. Our defense will bury Brady, rattle his cage. We will not have the special teams breakdowns that handed previous games to them. Our offense has enough tools to keep moving the ball, controlling the clock and finally has the tools to score in the red zone. This first game is the chance for Miami to shock the world. Go Phins!

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