New England Patriots Week One Preview: Five Thoughts On The Miami Dolphins

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Aug 16, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake (91) rushes as Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackle Demar Dotson (69) blocks during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

3. Front four

One of the strengths of this Miami defense is the pressure their front four can generate. Edge rusher Cameron Wake leads the charge, while Earl Mitchell, and Olivier Vernon help out as well.

The Patriots’ offensive line isn’t a strength this season, and their first test of the year will be against this Dolphins front. If they can handle the challenge, Tom Brady will be able to sit back, and absolutely rip apart Miami’s secondary. However if Wake and company get going early, the Pats will be in for a dogfight.

Nate Solder is probably New England’s best offensive lineman, and with Logan Mankins now gone, he will have to not only step up in his on-field performance, but also his leadership. Mankins was the leader of the offensive line, and Solder should be the one to replace him. If he goes out there and sets a tone against Cameron Wake, the rest of the offensive line will want to follow, which could result in a big day for the offense. With that said, Solder struggled mightily against Wake last year, specifically in their second meeting in Miami. Hopefully he bounces back on Sunday.