We’ve got a contract for you. You’re a Dolphin.
When you’re a Dolphin, you’ve got nothing. No top coach, no top quarterback, no recent success. You’re stuck in whatever city you’re playing in.
Where am I?
You catch whatever targets are thrown your way. You rely on anyone who’s still throwing to you. A trigger-pulling ex-receiver:
*throws* Should I throw it?
An old friend who used to block for you on special teams:
You know Pats fans. Bunch of loud screamers who go quiet in a snap.
Is that Tom again?
If you’re desperate.
You know Bill loves his hometown discounts, Danny.
And some down-and-out first-rounders you meet along the way.
Is that how we do it?
Bottom line: as long as you’re a Dolphin, you’re not going anywhere.
The eleventh Howard: Miami cornerback Xavien Howard, a third-year rising star who picked off Tom Brady twice in one game last season, has already been ruled out, leaving the Dolphins without their strongest individual coverage man. However, their secondary sans Howard is still nothing to sleep on. First-round rookie Minkah Fitzpatrick has enjoyed a strong first season (including a Brady pick already), Reshad Jones has been a consistently underrated strong safety, and Bobby McCain has given the Patriots fits in the past. Any and all of the Patriots’ wide receivers have the opportunity to light up the field, but Brady and the pass catchers will have to make wise decisions in order to ensure a productive offense.
Phillip will, son:Β Speaking of New England receivers, the pecking order on the depth chart has become set, and Phillip Dorsett has found himself at the bottom. Despite that, he’s still showing weekly that he does have a role in this offense, catching all 11 of his targets since Julian Edelman returned to the active roster in Week 5. The week before, when the Patriots hosted Miami, Dorsett caught four passes (on seven targets) for 55 yards and an impressive somersault of a touchdown. It’s unlikely that Dorsett’s snap count will drastically increase, but keep an eye for the snaps where No. 13 is on the field, because if the ball is headed his way, there’s a strong chance the result will be favorable for New England.
Dizzying heights: Of the six wide receivers on the Dolphins’ 53-man roster, five are listed at six feet or taller. (The exception is Amendola, at 5’11”.) A set of tall wide receivers suggests Ryan Tannehill will be more willing to heave competitive passes downfield, and Miami has seen some favorable outcomes, including a 74-yard heave to Leonte Carroo two weeks ago. Their starting pair of receivers, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills, are respectively 6’3″ and 6’1″, while New England’s starting cornerbacks, Stephon Gilmore and Jason McCourty, are respectively 6’1″ and 5’11”. (Undrafted Patriots rookie J.C. Jackson, who plays on the outside in multi-corner sets, is also 6’1″.) Gilmore is on the injury report, meaning the Dolphins may take more chances against him if they believe his ankle injury will limit him from playing at 100 percent. But no matter who is targeted, New England will need superb technique to keep Miami from employing the patented Joe Flacco strategy with any success.
And so here we are heading into the homestretch of the NFL regular season. At 9-3, the Pats are still in the hunt of earning a bye week but need a win to keep pace. On top of that, this week’s game is a “hat and T-shirt” game for the division title. But ooooooooohhh boy. Just one thing. They play Miami…. on the road…… their kryptonite. Seems like more times than not, the wheels seem to fall off when playing in Miami. Mental block maybe? Or does MIA just get their act together for these games? Adding to that, Miami is still in the hunt for a playoff spot. All that history, all that’s on the line, all points to……… a 2 case afternoon.