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Keys to the game: Dolphins vs. Patriots

It's all hands on deck for the Dolphins because they are completely healthy and ready to use every player in the plan against the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Everyone on the team practiced full on Friday. The coaching staff expects to use Bryant McKinnie at left tackle against New England, although a final decision won't come until Saturday evening.

Cameron Wake will get a full load of snaps as will cornerback Dimitri Patterson. Middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe is expected back at his starting job.

So who has the advantage?

Here are the keys to the game:

When the Dolphins pass the football: The Dolphins personnel department has pushed for Bryant McKinnie to start at left tackle while the coaching staff has taken a more methodical approach. Fans should hope the personnel department wins out because the Dolphins have basically lost two consecutive games when right tackle Tyson Clabo gave up key sacks against Buffalo and Baltimore. Adding McKinnie to the lineup means Jonathan Martin moves from left tackle to right tackle. This game will measure Ryan Tannehill’s ability to recover from a poor game, which his three-turnover game against Buffalo certainly was. The Patriots hope to have starting cornerback Aqib Talib back in the lineup but if he’s out again that will be a considerable help for Miami. ADVANTAGE: Patriots.

When the Dolphins run the football: Did the Dolphins coaching staff learn its lesson this week? Last week, against a weak run defense, the Dolphins didn’t maximize the running game, rushing only 25 times in a game that was never out of hand and in fact Miami led in the fourth quarter. The Patriots are no better than the Bills against the run, allowing four yards per rush, and they’ve been worse since the injury to Vince Wilfork ended his season and weakened the run defense. New England is now 31st in the NFL against the run. The Dolphins must, must, must give Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas a full plate of run attempts to shorten this game, avoid turnovers and move the football. It’s up to offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. ADVANTAGE: Dolphins (if Sherman doesn’t mess it up).

When the Patriots run the football: Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has been criticized this week because he didn’t run the football enough against the Jets despite being in a game the Patriots led and were having success with their running game.  Is this an epidemic, or what? The Patriots, curiously, are statistically a more successful running team than passing team. They have multiple backs that range in speed and size and can work either outside or between the tackles. But if the Pats are going to have any success running this game, they have to do it outside the tackles because the Dolphins clearly have a talent edge on the interior against New England’s center Ryan Wendell. ADVANTAGE: Even

When the Patriots pass the football: Tom Brady has not been playing up to his career standards as his quarterback rating is 20 points lower and his completion percentage is way down as well. That speaks to the loss of Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez and the injury to Rob Gronkowski but it also suggests Brady is struggling to get on the same page with their replacements. Gronkowski returned last week and Brady targeted him 17 times. Look for more of the same, particularly in the red zone. The Dolphins could not figure out how to defend New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham a month ago. They better figure out how to account for Gronk. The Dolphins have the ability to push the Pats pass pocket up the middle with their outstanding defensive tackles and Cameron Wake is ready to take all his usual snaps on the outside. ADVANTAGE: Even.

Special teams: The Dolphins are way better than New England on kickoff returns. The Patriots are way better than the Dolphins on punt returns. Miami punter Brandon Fields is the NFL’s leading punter that includes net and gross average while New England’s Ryan Allen is closer to the middle of the NFL pack. The Patriots have tried more long-range field goals than the Dolphins and have more success doing it, as Stephen Gostowski has connected on 8 of 9 attempts of 40 yards or more, including 2 of 2 from more than 50 yards. ADVANTAGE: Even.

Coaching: Unless Joe Philbin has some sort of Wildcat-type innovation up his sleeve this category pretty obviously tilts in one direction. ADVANTAGE: New England.

Intangibles: Both teams are desperate for a win because the Dolphins have lost three in a row and the Patriots two of three. But the home field has been very good to New England as they haven’t lost an October game at Gillette Stadium since 2005 and are 21-1 there in October dating back to 2003. OVERALL ADVANTAGE: New England.

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News flash, odin is a freaking toad ribbit ribbit go eat a mosquito you amphibious slimy troll toad

Posted by: Youguysaretoads | October 26, 2013 at 08:33 PM
========================================================

I "Get It" that you're Trolling, as evidenced by the content of your own posts. But why drag me into it?

Look at the content of my posts, your accusation(s)and your lack of insight and judgement becomes obvious.

You have a right to an opinion, but that doesn't mean you have to show off your shallow ignorance.

Sorry Man, Just Saying.........

Odin takes the bait. Like a fish in a fish bowl.

Not in the mood to watch Baseball. I guess I'm too wound up by Tomorrow's Game.

Dion will have his breakout game tomorrow.

Odin takes the bait. Like a fish in a fish bowl.

Posted by: Hook | October 26, 2013 at 08:47 PM
==============================================

A Bowl? I wanna be in a Barrell. Yeah......a Fish in a Barrell. If I'm a Fish, I DEFINITELY wanna be a Fish in a Barrell.

Of course, I get my underwear at K-Mart! A Fish can't wear underwear, especially if they're not at K-Mart. I have to get my underwear at K-Mart!

Of Course........

Anyone who doesn't think odin should be banned, send a email to Armando. Odin will never understand how much his nonsense drags the blog down.

I'll bet Armando receives zero emails.

I'll bet Armando receives zero emails.

Posted by: Hook | October 26, 2013 at 09:05 PM
==============================================

LOSER! I already sent Armando and E-Mail!

Ha HA! Now WHAT..........?

Nothing like bring a knife to a Gun Fight, Huh DuhToonya?

Speaking of Smoking Hot Hotties, mine just brought me a Gigantic Helping of Fried Potatoe slices with Onions and Mushrooms!

She's not especially Great in the KITCHEN, Ahem, but She doesn't have to be. If you know what I mean.

Sorry LOSER, I can't hang any longer, I have a LIFE!

Bhwaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaa!!!!

Bottom's Up!!!!

9 out of 10 odin posts are drippy, wet diarrhea.

Yes odin, speaking on behalf of all the bloggers, we all believe you ;)

Preseason, EVERYONE had us pegged better than the Jets. Now they are ahead of us. They beat NE. Can we?

With Denver and KC on fire, there will only be one other wild card team.

It does not look good for us.

How is it Geno Smith is already better than Tannehill?

How is it we get beat by a 5th string QB making his first start?

WTF????????

YGAT,

Believe me, I'd LOVE to see the 'Phins win by 20... but Philbin didn't have this team ready (he admitted as much) for a team that started a 4th string QB...after a bye week...

Claynavy0815, nice to see you back. We miss your steady analysis.

Ryan Tannehill , worst QB in the league?

9 out of 10 odin posts are drippy, wet diarrhea.

Posted by: Plop | October 26, 2013 at 09:16 PM

Does anyone actuall read odins posts?

Ryan Tannehill , worst QB in the league?

Posted by: CadillacDeVille | October 26, 2013 at 10:05 PM

ETF, I guess...you are enjoying your weekend allotment of...Booooze. Nice to see you show up.

I want Tannehill to do well...but Reality says...he may not have IT.

Clam,

Couldn't tell if that was sarcasm... but the reason why I think the Pats' will win big is because a) Brady's due to have a breakout game...b) we have horribly inept coaching, especially on offense.... and c) there's still a huge talent gap between the two teams, regardless of the fact that Welker and Hernandez are gone...I mean, from a purely objective point of view, you really think this team has a chance of winning in NE?

How is it Geno Smith is already better than Tannehill?

Posted by: Sammy | October 26, 2013 at 09:45 PM

I said we should've drafted Geno Smith. Tannehill is just terrible.

If the lowly Jets beat NE, any team can. NE is no longer NE. They are beginning their 10 year decline.

We don't have the tools to beat NE.

The Dolphins may be out of their comfort zone in NE. Their not used to playing in front of big crowds, LOL

Clay, the sorry Jets beat them. If you can't make an intelligent argument and just want to be a negative nancy, find someone else to talk to. You won't upset me if your game is to say the fins are hopeless.

Okay you fcckin idiots, I'm here to fix everything.

FIRE PHILBIN NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
TAKE SHERMAN WITH HIM TOO!!!!!!!!

ETF,

Didn't you say you haven't used the Cadillac name in two years? Or was it six months? Or was it one year? Or was it three months?

We dont have the brains to beat NE. Belli and Brady against Philbin and TannePuke? YIKES!

I mean comparing HC's and QB's its a HUGE mismatch.

I wango my wango.

ETF@ 10:27

I love you

Cadillac come here.
Caddy come here

Kris,

Still have compliments for your ETF?

THE GARAGE MACHANIC.

THE CORNBEEF COACHH

THE CELLAR

PATRIOTSS 30 DOLPINS 12/

(BUFFET OF KNOWLEDGE)

Is it possible to trade Failbin and the rest of his sorry stinking staff for a couple of draft picks?

Can we trade Ireland for a bottle of beer and an order of fries?

CARDINALS WIN!!!!!

Trolls trolling trolls.

Can we trade Ireland to the Pats? Cuz then in just a year or two we'll be able to beat the snot outa them every time we play 'em.

Dolphins 27 Snow Plow Drivers 24

(due to a last second penalty call regarding an obscure rule, or interference, or obstruction, or something).

CARDINALS WIN!!!! CARDINALS WIN!!!!!

Salguero's analysys is frankly useless.
Sherman is stupid in planing games, and Philbin does the same.
If Wake and Jordan put pressure on Brady, the the Dolphins would have a slight chance. The problem will be to stop the sacks and keep T-hill error free.
If dreaming is allowed, it would be awsome to kick Brady's ass at home. But the Dolphins seem so soft. So fragile, like mice.

But the Dolphins seem so soft. So fragile, like mice.

Posted by: Marchcool | October 27, 2013 at 02:11 AM
===================================================

Naw, eventually even a Mouse will bite you.

The Dolphins are more like a tame, docile Bunny Rabbit. A BIG fluffy cuddly one.

OMG, Odinseye is right, most bloggers here are idiotic closet fans. Too afraid to root for their team because the LOSERS are afraid they might be wrong.

No bother that the ignoramasuses got their entire LIVES wrong LOL. But you go ahead and knock yourselves out. You'll be doing the rest of us a big favor LOL.

Those of you that got lucky enough to find a woman dumb enough to marry you, are divorced. Your kids can't stand you and you had too move back into Mommy's basement. You got hooked on the drugs and are now a complete drain on society and the welfare system. But golly gee, don't root for your team, you might be wrong ROTFLMAO.

I encourage everyone to read Barry Jackson Spoets Buzz. Look at all the decent players we let go of!!! Because is suppose "immature" issues. Fire Ireland it's been 5 years and the team still sucks!!! How much longer???

Pressure Brady , pressure Brady and more pressure ifs the key to this game we should score in the 20s can we keep them under that is the question, and how good is our defense this year?

Armando is giddy with optimism since Philbin allowed him into his royal court for an exclusive on-on-one interview.

Obviously it's not just the offensive line that isn't ready for prime time but that OL is atrocious. I started drinking the koolaide on Tannehill early in the season ... ONLY on Tannehill. He's clearly reverted but I'm not ruling out the lack of confidence he has to have in the OL and the battering he is taking as factors in his reversion. That said, he has no awareness in the pocket, he has no feel for backside/blindside pressure. Those are instincts that he cannot learn. He will absolutely need a top tier offensive line to have consistent success and even with that I am sticking to my original opinion that he will never be more than a serviceable starter in the league. With a stud O-line and an O full of talent he can be a good QB but never a great one, no matter what.

Ireland was incompetent in not making the O-line a priority. Optimizing Tannehills chances for success, which includes run blocking, should have been the priority by a large margin. That Ireland didn't build the offense starting from there is incompetent. If he thought that he had the talent, then he is incompetent. Either way, he is incompetent. Ireland should go before Philbin. The coaching staff is workable and/or re-workable. IMO, jury is still out on Philbin. I'd give him more time, he hasn't been given enough to work with. Ireland on the other hand ... Ross will continue to be a loser as an owner as long as he continues to hang his hat on Irelands ability as a GM.

As far as this game goes ... this is the season. It isn't mathematically over at 3-3, obviously. But this is the matchup that defines the rest of the season. Where is Miami ... the losing team that has lost 3 in a row or the team who can make adjustments, step up and prove that they have enough talent and the coaching smarts to beat NE at home. It's gonna be the former ... NE coming off a loss and Miami coming off 3 in a row, the last one a give away. ... NE wins this game handily as the O-line, Tannehill and the running game continue to struggle and Brady still shows that he has plenty to beat a weaker team. Miami falls to 3-4 after this one.

The Dolphins started strong !

TD !
At least in this few minutes the Dolphins look like a different team.

B. Gibson got hurt !

Bad news, B. Gibson goes to the Xray room. Hope is not too serious.
In the mean time, the Patriots are running the football. The defense is playing well so far.
They gotta stop Brady.
Oh yeah, a sack on Brady. They are punting.

They got it 4th & 1, and moving the chains. I mean the Dolphins.

TD !
So far so good. 14-0. Dont know how this match is going to end, but it looks nice on the board.
Sturgis was hit on the extra point.

As usual, the referees give an interference pass to the Patriots. This is the way they win all the time since Brady got into the NFL. F:€€ng referees.
This is the way the NFL equalize matches !
FG for the Patriots. It isnt fair.

52 Yrd FG by Sturgis. Awsome. Hope the referees stop helping the revolting Patriots.

Wallace really sucks !
A sure TD, and Wallace dropped the pass. Followed by a missed FG by Sturgis.
Unbelievable. Everythig was going smooth so far.

The Dolphins getting to the usual business. A sack and the a fumble, and the a TD. The game is tied.
14 points edged erased in 4 minutes. Instead of being 24-3, we're 17-17. Is there a team softer than the Dolphins ?

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