W2W4: New England Patriots vs Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football

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When the Patriots Run the Ball:

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

This category should be “if” the Patriots run the ball. Miami has Ndamukong Suh in the middle of the defense and Earl Mitchell is more of a penetrating rusher than a run-stopper. Olivier Vernon and Cameron Wake have struggled against the run and not set the edge while linebackers Koa Misi and Jelani Jenkins can run to the ball but without the defensive line tying up blockers have been down the field and not in the backfield

Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Miami has allowed 776 yards rushing in six games with most of the damage done in the first four weeks. Since the miraculous transformation due to the coaching change, the Dolphins have allowed less than 75 yards per game, although a big reason for that is their offense jumping out to a huge lead.

The Patriots have run the ball well with Dion Lewis and if he is healthy he changes the entire dynamic of the rushing attack for the Patriots. Lewis can get to the outside and had enough power to run inside the tackles when necessary. When he is on the field he is a wild card which the defense struggles to find and stop.

Once New England gets to the second half of the game with a lead they have turned to LeGarrette Blount. When Blount gets up a head of steam and in rhythm, he is a load for a tired defense to bring down. Last week was an outlier for the Patriots not running the ball as it was the game plan and they fell behind, but expect to see a little more balance Thursday night.


Next: When the Patriots Pass the Ball