It’s that time of year sports fans, the week we’ve all been waiting for is upon us, and football is back. This week, the Patriots are taking on the Miami Dolphins in what should be a battle. Throughout this article, I will go over what I think you guys should look for this week.
Expect a defensive bloodbath, plain and simple. I expect the Patriots’ defense to be top 5 this year. The Dolphins are working with a newly built offensive line that is still jelling together and no receiver outside of Mike Wallace strikes fear in anyone. Revis will have Wallace locked down, the run game will be stopped cold with big Vince and Jerod Mayo back, and the pass rush will be up in Tannehill’s face all day.
Words cannot express that level of impact Revis will have on the defense. He will literally take half of the field away. The corners have been learning from him all off season and I expect huge things out of the secondary this year. Logan Ryan and Alfonzo Dennard were already becoming studs without Revis there, but with him holding down half of the field I expect them to up their game in a huge way.
While Gronkowski said that he would play all 16 regular season games this year, and that he was cleared to play Sunday, don’t expect a lot of him. Coach Belichick knows that Gronk is more important for the last 4 games of the year, not the first. So while we probably will see him for a bit, don’t expect to see him out there if the game is a blow out, or for more than a few drives here and there.
The Patriots finally addressed the Tight End position after Gronk. I expect big things out of Tim Wright this year. He’s playing with the greatest QB of all time, so as long as he stays healthy, he’ll have his share of big plays. With Gronk still resting, and probably not to be fully unleashed until somewhere around week 12, Tim Wright will be the leading workhorse of the Patriots tight end core.
The biggest thing I want to watch is the Patriots’ Offensive Line against the Dolphins front 7. Logan Mankins is gone, so someone will need to fill that void. The line gave up pressure last year and if anything, they’ve gotten worse since then. Let’s see if they can pull it together without Mankins and be the line everyone wants them to be.
I also want to keep an eye on the receiving core. The Dolphins’ entire defense is no joke, they upgraded the corner position with Cortland Finnegan, and they still have Cameron Wake. The defense will put pressure on Brady that much is certain, it’ll be up to the receivers to help him out. I expect a second year jump from both Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins, and I also expect Danny Amendola to live up to his contract now. The Patriots receiving come is pretty solid on paper. I hope they’re solid in real life too.
While starting the season is going to be tough, I still expect the Patriots to walk away with a win. They have too much talent on defense now and everyone is healthy. I expect them to really show people up this year.
Final score-Patriots 27 Dolphins 17