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Top 5 New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins Matchups To Watch in Week 1

Top 5 Patriots vs. Dolphins Matchups to Watch in Week 1

Ryan Tannehill Patriots Dolphins matchups
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have bested the Miami Dolphins in seven of the last eight meetings between the two AFC East foes. However, the Dolphins upset the Patriots in Week 15 of last season, so revenge will most definitely be on the minds of the men in blue this Sunday. Here are five key matchups to keep your eye on.

5. Dolphins' Offensive Line vs. Patriots' Pass Rush

Miami Dolphins New England Patriots Week 1
Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

5. Dolphins' Offensive Line vs. Patriots' Pass Rush

Miami Dolphins New England Patriots Week 1
Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

To say the Dolphins struggled to protect the quarterback last season would be putting it lightly. The offensive line surrendered a league-high 58 sacks, and while improvements have been attempted this offseason, it’s hard to imagine much of a turnaround in Week 1, especially against a rising Patriots’ pass rush that figures to be better in a 3-4 scheme.

4. Shane Vereen vs. Dolphins' Linebackers

Shane Vereen New England Patriots Miami Dolphins Week 1
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

4. Shane Vereen vs. Dolphins' Linebackers

Shane Vereen New England Patriots Miami Dolphins Week 1
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the preseason, it’s been evident that the Patriots plan on making Vereen a central figure in the passing game this year. Look for Tom Brady to give Vereen looks in one-on-one matchups against the likes of Phillip Wheeler and Danelle Ellerbe. For you fantasy players out there, definitely plug Vereen into your starting lineup.

3. Brian Hartline vs. Malcolm Butler

Brian Hartline Miami Dolphins Week 1
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

3. Brian Hartline vs. Malcolm Butler

Brian Hartline Miami Dolphins Week 1
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Butler, the Cinderella story of Patriots’ training camp this summer, is expected to start on Sunday, most likely facing the wily veteran Hartline. Although Hartline has a few inches on Butler, this appears to be a pretty even matchup. Butler has won over the Patriots’ locker room after emerging from the land of the undrafted.

2. Mike Wallace vs. Darrelle Revis

Darrelle Revis New England Patriots Week 1
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

2. Mike Wallace vs. Darrelle Revis

Darrelle Revis New England Patriots Week 1
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The much-awaited regular season debut of Revis is finally upon us, so of course you need to be paying attention to him on Sunday. Revis tossed Wallace some praise on Thursday, calling him “probably the fastest receiver in the league.” Wallace will definitely be a good test for Revis, but the Dolphins’ top receiver is still the underdog in this battle.

1. Stevan Ridley vs. Himself

Stevan Ridley New England Patriots Week 1
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

1. Stevan Ridley vs. Himself

Stevan Ridley New England Patriots Week 1
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

When he’s at his best, Revis is one of the better downhill rushers in the NFL, making quick, decisive and powerful cuts. But his fumbling issues often get the best of him. If Ridley can hang onto the ball, he stands to get in the ballpark of 20 carries, a winning formula for the Patriots. But Ridley coughs the ball up, forget it—we’ll be seeing the rookie, James White.