Pats' Notebook: Focus On The Fish
Bold Statement of the week: Bill Belichick is not a very talkative guy.
I have sat in his press conferences first hand, and can tell you, that he’s even more dull in person. That it’s not just his act when cameras are around, he’s always like that.
So it should come as no surprise that Bill didn’t mention just how happy he is for his defense. After allowing 20 or more points in each of the first four contests, with more than 30 allowed in 3 of those games, the Pats D hasn’t allowed more than 20 in a single game since.
Even the questions about the strength of that unit are slowly vanishing. Stephon Gilmore is back in the lineup, and even with injuries to key players, the struggling but still dangerous Oakland Raiders were limited to only eight points last week.
The only team to be shut out more than once through their first ten games, Miami has found themselves losers of their last four games. Over that time, the defense has allowed 40 or more points twice over that span. The other two games still weren’t pretty.
Over the season, the quarterback position hasn’t seen a consistent starter. Jay Cutler will be missing the game with a concussion, leaving Matt Moore under center. If he can throw sevens passes (complete or incomplete), it will mark the first time since 2011 Matt Moore has eclipsed one hundred pass attempts in a season. Last week, he did not throw an interception against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Miami has not had a running back go over one hundred yards in a game since October 15th when Jay Ajayi was still on the team. Trading their top running back has left the unit without a true starter.
On the road this week, the odds are not in Miami’s favor.
Tyler’s Tickets to Miami winning:
Take advantage of Tom: News came out earlier this week that Tom Brady is dealing with an Achilles injury. While he is still playing, he was a limited participant in practices this week due to the issue. Pressuring Brady could make him have to use his legs more, and cause him to aggravate the problem area. With Brady healthy, the Dolphins don’t have a chance.
Hope that the skill position players eat too many leftovers: No Thanksgiving is complete without a post-meal nap. It’s just something about all that food. It really tired you out. If Brandin Cooks, Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola, James White, Rex Burkhead, Devin McCourty, Malcolm Butler, Stephon Gilmore, and the rest of the guys all eat leftover stuffing, mashed potatoes, and turkey too close to game time, they could be too slow against the Dolphins this week.
Tyler’s Tickets to New England winning:
Utilize Dwayne Allen: Chris Hogan will likely miss another game due to injury, and Amendola has been listed as questionable. Martellus Bennett is also unlikely to play. Dwayne Allen can play though. His first three receptions of the season have come over the past two weeks on the road. If he can continue to be a productive receiver, the Patriots can use the two tight end system that they thrive with.
Protect Brady: As established, Brady is dealing with an injury this week. While he might be seen as SuperMan, number 12 is still a forty year old. Keeping him safe is always the top priority, but there is extra need to this week. Who knows if Hoyer is actually ready to step in yet.
When all is said and done, the Patriots have by far the better team. With the defense playing at a high caliber level, and the offense being the Patriots offense, the Dolphins do not have a chance this week.
Patriots 41- Dolphins 17
Tyler’s record: 7-3
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