New England Patriots: Three Things to Watch Against the Dolphins
The New England Patriots are in an odd space at 1-2 after losing last week to the Detroit Lions. The team has not looked good in any aspect of the game. They now will have the first division game against the Miami Dolphins. Miami enters this contest 3-0. If the Dolphins beat the Pats, New England will find themselves three games outside of first place in the AFC East. Bill Belichick said that his team needs to play better, and he will try and find a way to get them to play better. Here are three things I will be watching while the New England Patriots play the Dolphins.
Getting better on 3rd down
Last week the Pats were two for nine on third down conversions. This is not typical for the Pats. The problem is that Tom Brady does not have anyone to throw too. This is where Julian Edelman, who will be back after this week, would help. The Jaguars and Lions have focused on Rob Gronkowski so now what does Brady do? The wide receivers that the New England Patriots do have Brady does not trust. So until the run game gets better, it will be a mystery. They will need to improve on 3rd down moving forward.
Offensive Line needs to block better
Earlier this week Rex Burkhead was put on season-ending IR which means he is done. The New England Patriots, like the Buccaneers, have struggled running the football. The Pats selected Sony Michel in the first round. He has been unsure when he hits the holes. Michel is adjusting to the speed of the NFL. The line will also have to block better for James White. White now should be the primary running back in the Patriots offense. He was the hero in the Super Bowl two years ago. They will have to block better against the Miami Dolphins defense.
Stopping the run
The Pats have the second-worst run defense in all the NFL. They have allowed over 100 yards in all three games this year. They let the Lions have a 100-yard rusher for the first time in a long time. Belichick has been asked what he is doing to make this better. He answers that this is just part of adversity that every team goes through. Now that they enter division play its time to fix this moving forward. Let’s see what they do to fix this against the Dolphins.
The New England Patriots will need to find a way to get things back on track. Most people have them favored to beat the Dolphins this week. It has been a while to see the Pats loss two games in a row. They will have to do better on 3rd down moving forward. New England will have to get a run game going using White and Michel since Burkhead is out. On the flip side, they need to play better run defense. Look for the Pats to find a better game plan this week against the Dolphins.