1. PROTECT TOM BRADY
Notice I put that in all capital letters? Yeah, that’s for a reason.
The only thing that can truly derail a Tom Brady-led attack is pressure up the middle, which is why it is absolutely essential for Ryan Wendell and company to give their quarterback enough time to pick apart the Miami secondary. They don’t much national attention, but the Dolphins pass rush is very good. They are led by Cameron Wake, but Olivier Vernon, Earl Mitchell, and Jared Odrick all can bring the heat as well. If they get going, they can really make life for the opposing quarterback hell.
We don’t know what the interior of the offensive line will look like right now, but I am fairly certain it will include Marcus Cannon, Ryan Wendell, and new captain Dan Connolly. With Logan Mankins in Tampa Bay, those three guys are the most talented inside lineman the Patriots have, and they will need them to step up on Sunday.
If Brady has time, he will have no trouble finding mismatches against this Dolphins defense. However if he is under pressure all game long, not only will the offense be less effective, but there is a much higher risk of an injury for Brady, which is the last thing New England wants to see in this game.