Patriots vs. Dolphins: 5 Players To Watch


Andrew Innerarity-USA TODAY Sports

Here are five players to watch in tonight’s game.

1. Ndamukong Suh

Suh hasn’t lived up to his giant contract, but he is still a great player, and since the Patriots are incredibly thin along the offensive line, containing Suh on the inside will be key. Tom Brady has plenty of mismatches to go to with his plethora of weapons, but he needs time to throw the ball. Hopefully the Pats can give him that time.

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2. Jarvis Landry

Like most of the Dolphins, Landry hasn’t been having that great of a season, but he exploded for five catches and two touchdowns last week, which might be what he needed to snap out of his funk. Landry is an extremely talented wideout, and he should be the Patriots’ top concern in the secondary.

3. Cameron Fleming/Sebastian Vollmer

Despite being 25th in sacks per game, the Dolphins have plenty of talent on their defensive front, particularly on the edge with Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon. Wake is one of the best edger rushers the NFL has to offer, and he will likely be matched up with Cameron Fleming in this one. Fleming will get a lot of help from running backs and tight ends, but he has to be his very best to hang with Wake, because if Wake gets going, he can disrupt New England’s whole offense.

4. Patriots Secondary

The biggest weakness on this Patriots team right now is the secondary, and they will be tested once again tonight. Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, and Rishard Matthews are talented players, and I expect Miami to attack the Pats heavily through the air. Bill Belichick should utilize his 3-safety sub package to get his best, most versatile defensive backs on the field in an effort to slow down Ryan Tannehill’s aerial attack. Malcolm Butler needs to have a bounceback game after he got smoked by Eric Decker last week.

5. 4th Offensive Weapon

We don’t know if Dion Lewis is going to be healthy enough to play, and if he isn’t, a fourth offensive option has to step up for the Patriots. We know Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola will win their individual matchups the majority of the time, but others have to come through for Tom Brady. Defenses game-plan for Gronk and Jules, so someone needs to step up. Whether it is Brandon LaFell, Scott Chandler, Aaron Dobson, or Dion Lewis if he’s healthy.

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