What to Watch For: Dolphins vs. Patriots
Sunday, November 26, 2017
New England Patriots return to Gillette Stadium to host AFC East rival Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon.
SEE WHAT TO WATCH FOR IN THE SLIDESHOW BELOW
The Patriots come in having won six straight games, while Miami has lost four straight.
"The biggest challenge is going out there and playing the football we need to play because of the Dolphins, we see them twice a year, they know us well. We know them well but with them knowing us well you've got to go out there, you've got to execute and play football to a 'T' - knowing where to be, knowing your assignments. You've just got to play sound football playing a rival in your division," said Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski during his press conference on Friday.
The Patriots have six games left in the season, five of them will be against AFC East teams, including one more against Miami in two weeks.
Game time is set for 1 p.m.
Patriots vs Dolphins
The Patriots and Dolphins will meet for the 104th time in history, including three playoff meetings, on Sunday. The Dolphins lead the all-time series 53-50.
However, the Patriots are 33-17 at home, including 13-2 at Gillette Stadium.
Miami’s last win at Gillette Stadium came in September of 2008.
The Dolphins and Patriots met for the first time in 1966 and began playing twice a year during the 1967 regular season.
The Patriots swept the series nine times.
SEE WHAT TO WATCH FOR IN THE SLIDESHOW BELOW
Related Slideshow: 5 Things to Watch For: Dolphins vs. Patriots
The Miami Dolphins defensive front is led by Ndamukong Suh in the middle and Cameron Wake on the edge.
Wake enters the game with 16 quarterback hits and a team-leading six sacks.
"He's having another good year. He's on the field in a lot of situations. Not just third down – he's out there on every down. He plays the run well, is instinctive, runs the edge, can counter, has got some power, but he's played quite a bit. It's not just third down. He does a good job on all three downs," said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during his Friday press conference.
Suh follows up with 3.5 sacks, four tackles for a loss, six QB hits and two forced fumbles.
The Patriots have given up 23 sacks so far this season, but only gave up one last week against Oakland.
Butler vs Landry
Look for Malcolm Butler to be matched up with Dolphins' top receiver Jarvis Landry.
Landry is second in the league in receptions with 67 and is third in the league in targets (108, 10.8 per game)
Prior to the season, Landry said that the Dolphins would beat the Patriots twice this season.
Butler has been up and down most of the season and struggled against Denver's Emmanuel Sanders two weeks ago.
The Miami Dolphins have not been a good first half team this season.
So far this season, Miami has been outscored 134-50 in first halves and have only had the lead at the break one time in the last 10 games.
Miami comes in having lost four straight games and has given up 40, 27, 45 and 30 points respectively in those games.
A fast start will be critical for the Patriots.
Red Zone Defense
Jay Cutler has been ruled out of the game meaning Matt Moore will make the start at quarterback for the Dolphins.
Miami's offense has been very good in the red zone, scoring touchdowns on 61.9% of their chances so far this season.
"Offensively, their skill players are outstanding. Good quarterbacks, good running backs, good tight end, very good receivers, very explosive receivers. All of these guys make huge and big plays consistently. They're a hard group to stop," said Belichick.
The Patriots defense is the worst in the league when it comes to yards given up, (400 per game), but they only give up 20 points per game, which is 12th best in the league.
Chris Hogan has already been ruled out and both Martellus Bennett and Danny Amendola are listed as questionable.
Meaning there will be plenty of opportunities for Phillip Dorsett to make an impact.
With the Patriots, Dorsett has played in 10 games and has six catches for 101 yards.
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