Hyde10: Will Patriots run closely?; DeVante’s return; climate points — 10 ideas on Dolphins’ opener


With all of the discuss of the Dolphins’ skinny cornerback points, the South Florida warmth and the strategic matchup conspire to make sense of defensive coordinator Josh Boyer’s concept that New England will are available working the ball.

The Dolphins protection was run over by Tennessee final January for 198 dashing yards and has principally the identical personnel. A yr older and wiser? But working the ball successfully has the prospect to shorten the sport — one thing guests ought to wish to do within the sub-tropical warmth (even ones that spent the previous week right here like New England).

The Patriots ran for 125 and 134 yards within the two conferences towards the Dolphins final yr. That’s consistent with their No. 8 rating at 126.5 yards a sport final season and have just about everybody again — with a twist.

They’ve modified every thing from offensive coordinators to blocking schemes, the place they’ll use the outside-zone blocking scheme identical to the Dolphins are. That’s unlucky within the method these groups’ comparable opponents shall be accustomed to the blocking identical fairly rapidly. The scheme started for use within the NFL with Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel’s mentor, Mike Shanahan, in Denver. The concept is lineman block areas, not only a man, as defenses more and more moved individuals. You’ll see it rather a lot Sunday.

2. Patriots receiver DeVante Parker will get a shot at his former Dolphins staff on Sunday and expectedly mentioned this week, “I just look at it like another game. I just have to come out and play hard like any other game.” Anyone shopping for that? You ought to perceive why the Dolphins traded Parker (for a 2022 first-round choose and 2023 third-round choose). He missed important observe time and a few video games in 2016, 2020 and 2021, primarily with hamstring points. He performed 10 of 17 video games final season. The bigger half is he had the least separation of any receiver within the league for the previous two seasons. But Bill Belichick needed to game-plan towards him for yr and clearly likes him. The one play that Parker excelled at was the leap ball, as he and Ryan Fitzpatrick confirmed. Expect the Patriots to attempt that with 6-foo-3, 218-pound Parker having a superb dimension benefit on Dolphins cornerbacks.

3. Five stats the Dolphins ought to enhance on below McDaniel’s offense and the improve of expertise:

1. 4.78 yards per play (twenty eighth in league);

2. Tua Tagovailoa threw 33 p.c of his passes below two seconds (fifth-highest charge, through Warren Sharp analystics);

3. The offensive line ranked worst in ESPN’s pass-block win charge;

4. Receivers had 4.3 yards after catch (ranked thirty first);

5. And the heavyweight: 20.1 factors per sport (ranked twenty first).

4. There’s no home-field benefit in sports activities larger than a 1 p.m. sport in September in South Florida. I’ve mentioned this earlier than. You don’t want to return to the Bob Kuechenberg mentioned, “We knew the heat might kill us, but we knew it would kill them.” You don’t have to know the San Francisco 49ers landed in Denver after taking part in in Miami in 1973 to get extra IV’s, Green Bay’s Don Majkowski misplaced a game-sealing fumble in 1991 as a result of, “My hands were really just perspiring.”

“I’ve been ahead by 14 points in the fourth quarter, and my guys were gassed and [the Dolphins] came back and won it,” former Jets coach Rex Ryan mentioned final yr on ESPN.

That’s why Belichick moved his staff to Palm Beach County for this previous week’s practices. Will it matter? Every bit performs an element.

5. You ought to perceive why the Dolphins are favored Sunday. But 3 1/2 factors appears a bit a lot and performs into the optimism around the Dolphins team — and pessimism across the Patriots. Maybe I’m too scarred by the Patriots through the years, however the pessimism appears overdone. They aren’t an ideal staff. But they went 10-7 and made the playoffs with a rookie quarterback final season. They didn’t add a lot, and misplaced high cornerback J.C. Jackson and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. It’s unsure simply the place their offense is contemplating an odd scheme the place Belichick wasn’t saying who would name performs (sound acquainted to the 2021 Dolphins?). But one factor you understand: Belichick’s groups enhance over a season. While there’s nobody to scare you on their offense, the defensive entrance seven is a powerful. They aren’t the dynasty they as soon as had been. But they aren’t pushovers, both.

6. This received’t precisely be a matchup of younger groups, a little bit of a shock contemplating their younger quarterbacks and lack of playoff success. According to bookie.com, the Patriots are the fifth-oldest staff within the league at a mean 27 years, one month and 22 days. The Dolphins are the seventh-oldest at 26 years, 9 months and 27 days.

7. Regarding working video games, the Patriots’ backs may need some motivation this opener towards the Dolphins contemplating final yr’s opener in Foxborough. First, Rhamondre Stevenson fumbled his first NFL carry, the Dolphins recovered and Stevenson was benched till the fifth sport. Then, with the Patriots driving for a profitable area objective, Damien Harris had the ball stripped by Xavien Howard on the Dolphins’ 9-yard line to win the sport for Miami.

8. Can Buffalo be the very best choose for the Super Bowl and over-valued? Seems that manner. I picked Buffalo for the Super Bowl out of the AFC and their opening win towards the Los Angeles Rams confirmed why. But everybody’s selecting the Bills this yr — and the AFC is stacked with robust groups. Let’s not fake they’re this confirmed drive. First, Sean McDermott has to show he can handle a sport because the final 13 seconds of their AFC Divisional Round loss to Kansas City confirmed. But let’s keep in mind that they had the identical profit final yr that the Dolphins had: They performed quite a lot of backup quarterbacks, particularly within the final half of the yr. So whereas they’re mine and loads of others’ choose to go to the Super Bowl, higher groups haven’t matched preseason expectations.

9. Preseason prediction: Dolphins go 9-8 and slip into the playoffs in a tough AFC. If they arrive out 2-2 of this opening stretch, they need to make it straightforward. Lots of groups will knock one another out — particularly within the AFC West.

10. Sunday prediction: Dolphins 24, New England 20. Better roster. Favorable climate. The 3 1/2-point unfold is about proper.



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