If the Miami Dolphins hope to get the season back on track today, they are going to have take advantage of a New England Patriots’ defense that is missing the two most important players in Jerod Mayo and Vincent Wilfork and is banged up in the secondary as well with Aqib Talib being limited in practice throughout the week. Though the Dolphins’ offense has looked like the most explosive unit in football, they could potentially be today going up against an injured and shaky Patriots’ defense.
If there is one cliché in all of sports that applies to just about any game, it’s that you can’t teach size. Size is something that defensive tackle Vincent Wilfork has a lot of. With his presence missing in the front seven due to a torn Achilles, the Patriots will have to rely on blitzing Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill if they hope to get pressure on him. It’s funny, given all of the concerns with the offensive line for Miami, they make a move to attempt a short-term fix on a week where they might actually catch a break when it comes to the play in the trenches. New England will have to rely on rookies Joe Vallano and Chris Jones to apply pressure and help plug the gaps in the running game.
As for Jerod Mayo, his torn pectoral muscle requires surgery and he has been placed on injured reserve, a huge blow to the Patriots defense. Mayo has been the heart and soul of that Patriots defense for the last five seasons by leading the team in tackles. With the leading tackler out of action, Miami will have a good chance at running the football against a Patriots defense that ranks near the bottom in stopping the run. If Miami is able to establish a running game, this will take a lot of pressure off of Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins may be able to control the flow of the game. If Miami is able to do this, they will give themselves their best shot at winning the game.