Monster Keys to Patriots Victory over the Dolphins
Once again the ghost of the ultimate cheater Don Shula rears it’s Very Ugly Head and the Patriots make a late season trip to the capitol of my least favorite foreign country Miami Florida. God, I feel nauseous already. The tacky cityscape, the inescapable scent of Drakkar Noir mixed with cheap suntan oil. And the deplorable gripping to the only season in NFL history that ended with an asterix – 1972. Here my Monster Keys to Patriots victory and getting out of this foreign land and back home safely to the good old USA.
Shut Down Tua’s RPO
RPO’s are nothing more than option football. Can you stop RPO’s not being in man coverage? YES . What the Pats need to do on Sunday is dance with the defense that brung them, stick in zone and adjust their alignments out wide. Linebackers need to go with the flow, ( in the case of the Dolphins 97% of the time LEFT) fill those lanes and force him to go through his progressions. Don’t let Tua beat you on his first read , dont let him beat you throwing to the FLAT.
Don’t Go until you know
The Safeties need to read and react to this style of offense, don’t try to guess what’s about to happen. Take your time, make your read but be decisive. Fly to the ball.
No YAC For You
As well as you play to limit the RPO completions are going to happen, it’s a fact of football life. What has to happen after the catch is eliminate what Gesicki and Waddle are able to do with their feet and frame. Get to the receiver and drag them to the turf.
Pound that Rock
Once again the Patriots backfield is healthy and firing on all cylinders. This group has in a short time turned themselves into the best in the NFL. strong – versatile – patient and smart this group needs to put the offense on their back Sunday. The line needs to outmuscle the Phins line and get Harris and Stevenson to the second level.
Own third down ,
The Pats are coming off an 80% conversion game that’s an unfair number to use. What is fair is the 43% rate over the last three games. I’d like to see them keep trending upwards here, The Phin are converting on 40% on the season but just 33% over their past three, OWN IT.
Win The Turnover Battle
Last week’s game got the Pats back on the + side for the season, they will need to turn the Phins over at least twice this week to make me happy.
Limit the Laundry.
Again don’t step in a pile, 3 losses can go straight to flags being thrown at the wrong moment in Patriots time. This isn’t subjective calls, these are procedural calls that have cost New England the top seed in the AFC.
Play Action Gold
The Dolphins, while having a strong set of defensive backs, have also given up a ton of yards after (excuse me for a moment while I take a cold shower). Only 4 teams have given up more 20+ Yard plays on the season. Yet only one team has more passes defended than the Phins. That tells me the second level and middle of the field is where to strike and get me that YAC. I see a big week for both Henry and The Bourne Supremacy. IF Wilkerson is active he could also do damage. Get the ball out quick and eliminate the Phish pass rush.
That’s it, my rabid readers. I hate the fact this game was moved to 4 PM. It gives me less time before Lock On Patriots Monday to wash the taste of sand and putrefied Biscayne Bay salt out of my mouth that always seems to linger on my taste buds every time the Patriots visit this country. One more win could make that an easier task.
As always you can follow / give me grief on Twitter @Tmurph207