Miami Dolphins high-powered offense take on AFC East division rival New England Patriots on SNF

Dolphins Offense Patriots SNF

Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa leads the team onto the field at SoFi Stadium.

FOXBOROUGH, MA – After a thrilling win over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1 of the regular season, the goals for the Miami Dolphins are clear – keep the good times rolling. Tua and the supercharged Dolphins offense will have to head north for a primetime SNF matchup against a division rival – the New England Patriots on Sunday, September 17th at 8:20 PM.

Regardless of the records and the personnel, these divisional matchups are always competitive. Ultimately, the Dolphins can’t overlook a 0-1 Patriots team with more questions than answers.

A Performance Worthy of Hollywood

Miami’s passing offense against the LA Chargers was second to none. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and wide receiver Tyreek Hill absolutely abused the Bolts’ secondary.

Granted, the defense is not one of LA’s specialties going back to last season. But, with the way Tua had time in the pocket to throw laser-accurate balls up the middle to Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and even Braxton Berrios, it felt like no defense in the NFL could have bested them that day.

The stats speak for themselves. With 466 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, and zero sacks, Tua earned himself AFC Offensive Player of the Week.

Other highlights of Miami’s win include the offensive line and their ability to give Tua his time. Along with that, the Dolphins’ ability to get up to eight receivers involved and catching passes in the game kept the Chargers’ defense on their toes, especially when they were forced to double-team Hill.

Some negatives include the running game being second fiddle and being underutilized. However, this can be forgiven when the air raid attack clicks as well as it did. Nevertheless, I was hoping for a breakout run by Raheem Mostert, but that never really happened.

Also, the Dolphins defense got their butts handed to them in terms of the Chargers running game led by Austin Ekeler. His performance almost solely kept the Chargers in that game. But, to their credit, the Fins limited Herbert when he had to throw the ball, such as their failed final drive of the game.

Finally, center Connor Williams did not have an amazing game. He botched three snaps to Tua with one of them being recovered by LA in the red zone. Hopefully, this is something that a bit of extra practice can fix.

Nonetheless, the Dolphins made it clear to the rest of the league that their offense might be one of the best there is, and it’s going to take a lot to slow them down.

A Primetime Matchup Like it’s 1776

In come the New England Patriots, coming off a 25-20 loss to the NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagle. To their credit, they could have won. Nonetheless, the Pats are looking for their first win of the season.

Last season was not great for New England. They finished with an 8-9 record and third place in the AFC East, missing out on the playoffs. That said, they did steal a game from Miami in January, even if Tua wasn’t playing that day.

The Patriots are still wondering if their current quarterback, Mac Jones, will be their starter for years to come or if they should look elsewhere. After only throwing for 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last season, he’s raised more questions than answers for the New England faithful.

He still had a solid game against a killer Eagles defense, netting 316 yards and three touchdowns. Not exactly Tua’s numbers, but still good enough to beat most teams. We’ll have to see what defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will conjure up to maintain him.

The Return of the Griddy Man

There were two key offseason additions for New England that Fins fans should keep an eye out for – former Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, and former Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki.

New England’s running game last season didn’t impress, so they looked for some star talent and wound up with Elliott, who was one of the faces of the Cowboys for six years. The three-time Pro Bowler will look to rejuvenate their run game, but was limited to just 29 yards against the Eagles.

A name Fins fans might or might not want to hear, Gesicki was the go-to tight end for the Dolphins for a few years. He led all Miami tight ends in yards and touchdowns in that category. But, overall, Dolfans weren’t impressed by how their offense utilized him. He was made more of an extra blocker than a threat in the backfield…and, he wasn’t an excellent blocker, either.

He might not be Gronk, but the Patriots will look to Gesicki as their next big man with hands. Also, like Elliott, he didn’t shine against Philadelphia, only achieving 36 yards.

New England’s defense limited the Eagles to just 20 points, so there’s something to be said about that. Despite not creating a turnover, they did limit Philly’s quarterback Jalen Hurts to just 170 yards and sacked him three times. We’ll see how clean Tua’s jersey is at the end of this game, but the O-line could possibly see the return of veteran tackle Terron Armstead to assist in keeping him safe.

Keep an eye out for linebackers Matthew Judon and Ja’Whaun Bentley, who looked to be some of the biggest troublemakers on defense for New England. Miami stacks up well in the linebacker core, but a recent back injury for Jaelan Phillips might sit him out of this game. We’ll have to wait and see on that.

Jake’s Prediction

Overall, the stats make it seem like a wash for the Dolphins. I do feel that their offense will excel against the Pats’ defense, either by another masterclass Tua performance or the emergence of a more balanced running game.

That said, the question might be if the Fins’ defense can stop Jones and the Patriots from doing the same thing. If they can adjust their run defense so that Jones has to throw the ball, then I think the secondary of Miami can get the job done and limit chunk plays.

I do feel that New England is a better team than what people are giving them credit for. I do believe the Dolphins will win this one, but it’ll be much closer than people may think. You can never count out Bill Belichick on a nationally televised game against a divisional opponent, but I think the Fins will be too much for him to handle.

Miami Dolphins – 27

New England Patriots – 14

After the game, the Dolphins will head back home to Hard Rock Stadium for their first home game of the season. They’ll face the Denver Broncos on Sunday, September 25th at 1 p.m.

📸Credit: Miami Dolphins

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