The New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins will take the field against each other in the Week 2 divisional tilt. The game marks a matchup between two teams at opposite ends of the NFL spectrum. The Patriots enter this game as the second-largest road favorites in the last fifteen years (-19). Miami will look to rebound after experiencing a blowout loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1. Despite the easily predictable outcome, the Patriots have had their struggles in Miami over the last few years.
New England Patriots Week Two Preview: Madness in Miami
Sunday’s matchup in Miami comes on the heels of an unusually eventful week as far as off-the-field issues go for the Patriots. New England comes off a sky-high performance; blowing out the Pittsburgh Steelers 33-3 in their home opener. Miami found themselves on the losing side of a 59-10 beating at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens. According to PFF, the Patriots finished the week at third in the league in terms of overall team grade. The Dolphins come out of their week one loss at thirty-second.
With Marcus Cannon Out, Offensive Line a Big Key to Victory
The Patriots lost a key piece to their cohesive offensive line in their Week 1 victory over the Steelers. Offensive tackle Marcus Cannon left Sunday night’s game in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury. While the injury is not considered season-ending, Cannon is expected to miss Sunday’s game after being seen in a sling earlier this week. Patriots starting center David Andrews is already out indefinitely with blood clots in his lungs.
Marcus Cannon has his left arm in a sling. Looked to be in good spirits. #Patriots
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) September 9, 2019
Despite the good news for Patriots fans, the team will need to adjust the offensive line if Cannon misses Sunday’s matchup. After Cannon’s injury, the Patriots moved guard Joe Thuney to right tackle, while guard Jermaine Eluemunor slid into Thuney’s spot on the left side. Eluemenor, who joined the Patriots this offseason, did well in pass blocking situations but struggled with his run blocking. The Patriots hope with an added week of practice, the offensive line enters Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday as a unified front.
Patriots backup center Ted Karras struggled quite heavily during Sunday’s matchup with his snaps to quarterback Tom Brady in the shotgun. Karras, who started in just his fourth career NFL game on Sunday, struggled with speed and accuracy on his shotgun snaps. Karras acknowledged the issue this week, and voiced his commitment to working on the issue.
“If it’s anything that’s not up to standard, then you gotta work on it,” Karras said. “Of all the things that we could be highlighting, that’s one that isn’t that horrible, but it’s important, though. Be mindful of it, work on it and just fix it.”
Sony Michel Looks to Find Rhythm Against Dolphins Front Seven
Patriots sophomore running back Sony Michel struggled in week one against the Steelers, gaining a mere fourteen yards on fifteen rushing attempts. The Patriots will need Michel to improve his performance in the run game if they want a chance to open up the passing game as well. Michel, who had no rushes over five yards, will look to open up his game on Sunday.
Despite PFF ranking the Dolphins as a top-15 rush defense in week one, the team still allowed over two hundred rushing yards in their opening game. Miami is a team that lacks talent in all facets on both sides of the field. Michel and the Patriots will need to capitalize on their opportunities in the run game in order to come out with a dominant win on Sunday.
Despite a Whirlwind Week, Patriots Need to Focus on Dolphins
New England as a franchise is known for its professionalism and commitment to on-the-field success. The team, from owner Robert Kraft down, is committed to keeping the focus of the team on the field. New addition at the wide receiver position, Antonio Brown, has ruffled the feathers in his first few days on the roster. As was reported Tuesday, the star wide receiver has been accused of sexual assault and rape.
Despite the in-season off-the-field distraction, the Patriots still have a game to play on Sunday. New England needs to ensure they put all distractions to the side and focus on the task at hand. As many Patriots fans recall from last season, the tables can turn with one single play.
MIAMI MIRACLE ?
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 9, 2018
The Patriots will take the field at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday in Miami against the Dolphins. The game will kickoff at 1:00 pm ET on CBS.
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