New England Patriots: Five Players To Watch Against Oakland Raiders

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Sep 7, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Brandon LaFell (19) is unable to make a catch against the Miami Dolphins during the second half at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins won 33-20. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

2. Aaron Dobson/Brandon LaFell

Dobson and LaFell are in the same boat as Amendola, meaning that they need to get on track this week as well. The two bigger wideouts have one catch between the two of them, which is not nearly enough production from the outside.

New England’s passing offense is predicated on dominating between the hash marks, but as past history shows, if they don’t have someone that can consistently win one-on-one matchups outside the numbers, they will get shut-down in the playoffs.  Look for Tom Brady to really try and get these two involved against a porous Raiders defense, particularly Dobson, who has a ton of talent, and really could be one of the top downfield threats in the league.

If the Pats don’t have an outside threat produce against Oakland, they will be just fine. But once they start playing teams that play quality defensive football, they are going to need Dobson or LaFell to step up on the outside. That is why using this game as a “tune-up” game is a must.