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5 Players Set To Break Out For New England Patriots In Week 8

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5 Breakout Players For New England Patriots In Week 8

Belichick
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Week 8 brings yet another divisional matchup for the New England Patriots. This time it is against the Miami Dolphins, the only divisional foe that the Patriots have yet to play.

The Dolphins have been an up-and-down team this season. At first, Miami started 3-0, capping that run with a home win against the Atlanta Falcons. Things went down from there, however, as a road loss to the New Orleans Saints started what has become a three-game losing streak for the Dolphins.

It all starts with the quarterback. Ryan Tannehill has been around average for Miami, starting hot and then going cold. There will be games where he flashes his potential with some crisp throws, and other games where he becomes turnover-prone and costs his team the game.

Other players on offense have not helped. Jonathan Martin has been one of the worst left tackles in the NFL. Right tackle Tyson Clabo has had a terrible season as well, as he has predictably failed to adjust to Mike Sherman's zone-blocking scheme. Mike Wallace has also been inconsistent. He really doesn't fit the West Coast Offense. Joe Philbin can't decide who his starting running back should be either, even though Lamar Miller clearly has more upside than Daniel Thomas.

The defense is in better shape. Kevin Coyle has a lot of good pass rushers at his disposal. It all starts with Cameron Wake, who is one of the best pass rushers in the league when healthy (though he's currently nursing a knee injury). Then you have a solid three-man rotation in Olivier Vernon, Derrick Shelby and Dion Jordan. Jordan has the most upside of the group, being the third-overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. There are two big names in the linebacker core, with free agent imports Dannell Ellerbe manning middle linebacker and Philip Wheeler playing on the outside. Standout players in the secondary include cornerback Brent Grimes and safety Reshad Jones.

To summarize, the Dolphins have an inconsistent offense and a strong defense. With that in mind, which five Patriots players have a good chance to succeed on Sunday?

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5. Aqib Talib, CB

Talib
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

If Talib is active, he'll get the speedy Wallace. Although Talib tends to struggle with speedy wide receivers at times, he should succeed in this matchup. Tannehill has been inconsistent when trying to throw the ball Wallace's way.

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4. Kenbrell Thompkins, WR

Thompkins
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Thompkins will draw the coverage of Dimitri Patterson, which is a plus matchup because Patterson has been injured pretty much all season.

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3. Danny Amendola, WR

Amendola
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Amendola could be making his return to quite the matchup. If active, he should be able to burn nickel cornerback Nolan Carroll.

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2. Brandon Spikes, ILB

Spikes
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Spikes should have a field day stopping Miller or Thomas, especially considering that neither running back has really gotten going this season.

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1. Chandler Jones, DE

Jones
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Jones has got the best matchup of all, as he gets to face Martin, someone he should be able to destroy on multiple occasions. This should be a multi-sack day for the young pass rusher.