Patriots vs Dolphins: The Aftermath

NEPD Staff Writer: Doug Kyed

Tom. Brady. That’s all you really need to say about this game.

I think we were all a little worried after the first Dolphins drive, but in a hot, muggy Landshark Stadium, this Patriots team played about as well as anyone could have expected.

The offense was on all night, and the defense might have got a little winded there at the end, but once again, that’s to be expected. I split my thoughts into first half and second half:


-I usually try to tune out color guys as much as possible, but is there anything more laughable than Jon Gruden saying the Patriots have no natural pass rushers? Did he miss the Patriots entire offseason? Or was he just reacting based off four plays? Likely both.

-Patrick Chung is all over the field. Not only has he been in on almost every single Reggie Bush touch, he’s also got a sack and some nice play in coverage. KC can have Matt Cassel.

-Dan Koppen’s injury looked ugly, but lets hold off on panicking for now. Koppen is probably the Patriots 5th or 6th best lineman at this point in his career and Connolly is more than solid as a backup. The depth the Patriots have at OL really shows here. (Update: Ian Rappaport is reporting that Koppen has a broken ankle.)

-Nate Solder. The half might not have ended as well as he’d hoped with a couple hurries from Wake, but he’s been incredible one on one. It’s really allowed Gronk to not have to stay inside to block and he’s had a great game as a result.

-The Dolphins would be a lot better off if they let Reggie Bush run outside. The Patriots had trouble with speedy players coming off the edge in the Preseason with four down linemen. The Phins keep rushing Bush up the middle and he’s not going to find any room between our massive DL.

-I think we were all a little nervous after that first Dolphins drive, but the Patriots have really solidified the defense since. The Dolphins playcalling has left a lot to be desired as well though.

-Big surprise to see Dowling as a starter. Looks like that means that Bodden will be used strictly at “Star” corner to begin the season. Lack of Sergio Brown so far is a big surprise. I was thinking Barrett would have a big role in this defense.

-Guyton struggles big time in rushing situations, New England really misses Spikes in that regard. Guyton actually had nice coverage on that long Fasano play, just a better pass and catch.


-Ras-I Dowling played as well as anyone possibly could have imagined today. He actually played Marshall better than McCourty did tonight. If McCourty, Bodden, Dowling and Chung can play to their full potential this year, it doesn’t matter who the rest of our secondary is.

-The Patriots pass rush looked great tonight, they didn’t get a ton of sacks, but those will come in time.

-Don’t fret too much about how many yards and points the Dolphins put up on the board, it’s hot in Miami and these guys are tired.

-It’s always fun to see Kyle Arrington play DE, isn’t it?

-Brady is so good, you never expect him to do things you haven’t seen before. Tonight is one of those special nights.

-Sean Smith and Vontae Davis really hurt the Dolphins. Welker and Branch feasted on the Dolphins backups.

-How special is Aaron Hernandez? He’s like a stronger Brandon Marshall. I predicted a big game from him tonight, but I wasn’t expecting it to be this big.

-Guyton really struggled tonight, once Spikes and Fletcher are 100%, I expect to see a lot more of them.

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27 Responses to “Patriots vs Dolphins: The Aftermath”

  1. Ryan says:

    One of the most important players I thought on the field was A. Carter. He was playing against one of the best Tackles in the league, and I thought he was giving him a run of his money. Both ends applied pressure, while the DL constantly moved the pocket back. The yardage given up by the Pass D was a little tough to handle, but I think we were in the bend don’t break strategy early.

  2. DT says:

    Does anyone have a breakdown on how our corners were targeted, who gave up the most yards?

    Did dowling play as well as McC last year? How did Leigh Borden look? Which safety got most snaps other than Chung?

  3. Billy C. says:

    Guyton is a tremendous weak link on the defensive side of the ball) I know BB has been a big supporter of his since he was a UFA but his instincts are horrible. As far as being our best cover guy from the linebacker position he brings value, but I think it’s minimal considering his overall weak performances (Fletcher is better). He flat out isn’t tough enough to be a linebacker in the NFL!

    • cash says:

      Once Spikes becomes healthy he will be at middle linebacker allowing Mayo to make the move to outside linebacker where they were playing him in the preseason and Guyton will go back to backup and situational player.

  4. Lundahl says:

    Bring back Gerard Warren.

  5. Liam says:

    I know it’s still early days, but it looks like the 1st 2 draft picks were at least fly doubles, if not clear cut home runs. Seen nothing from the new running backs yet, but they looked the part in pre season. It looks like BB knew what he was doing in the early rounds. I’m thinking he didn’t like the talent on offer later on, so just couldn’t be bothered.

  6. John Major says:

    Is Dowling an upgrade over Butler?

    • Liam says:

      That’s like saying “Is Megan Fox an upgrade over Rosie O’Donnel?”. N’duh!

      • John Major says:

        I knew I would get a funny comment out of that question.

      • CC says:

        Liam, you just made my day with that comment! Butler has always been on my ….why is he even here list, and Ras-I was a Patriot draft Pick of mine long before the Draft! LMMFAO!!!!!!! That Comment ruled!

  7. Dan says:

    Question: who dressed for this game? Who was left off, or whatever is easier?

  8. qwerty says:

    >Guyton struggles big time in rushing situations

    I think Patriots are high on Tarpinian potential so hoping he will replace Guyton at some point

    • Dan says:

      Did Tarpinian clear waivers, or whatever? He was let go today, I thought, to make room for the extra tackle.

      • Liam says:

        Waiver period isn’t over, so who knows? He’ll revert to IR if he clears waivers as expected. One to watch for next year.

  9. Ratzalot says:

    Solder was impressive vs. Wake, especially early on. I got a sense the Patriots aren’t familiar with the added pass rush the 4-3 provides and the resulting quicker, shorter passes from the opposing offense.

    • CC says:

      Very well said RAZ….Just remember the Pats were playing a 4-3 when they won the first SB!!!! Although not so pretty looking of a 4-3, it’s what they were running and it specifically allowed guy’s to step up in their strength zones that of themselves as well as knowing when to simply just cover and nor get”BURNED”.

  10. TomDickHarry says:

    Had a feeling Dowling was going to pay off, eerily similar to McCourty last year, good size, strength, FB-IQ……could be a key cog to the Pats D this year.

  11. TomDickHarry says:

    Koppen might be #4 or 5 in terms of his star power but he nonetheless brings stability and experience, we’re very luck to have Waters….and hopefully Cannon can come off the PUP and play or we can find another option at OG whether it be in-house or not.

  12. TomDickHarry says:

    Not sure Hernandez is stronger than Marshall, he’s a serious match-up concern but Marshall is 6’3-6’4 230lbs, A-Hern is more shifty than strong, has one good move and is very shifty for a TE but isn’t a beast like Marshall is when he’s healthy…..will be good to see A-Hern used more often though, him and Gronk should be unstoppable together.

  13. Dan says:

    It’s going to be interesting to see this defense develop; they have a ways to go, but they have some talent also. Seeing Dowling play like he did is huge.
    The offense was amazing…Solder is a unique talent with that size, ability to move, and skills.

    But, I’m still pissed at Romo!!!

    • Ratzalot says:

      I can’t begin to describe how little I think of Romo. As disappointed as I am to see the Jets come back and win the game, the Cowboys have nobody to blame but themselves for continuing to compete with a QB who buckles under pressure.

  14. John says:

    *and nate solder

  15. John says:

    awesome night little worried about the pass yardage given up but run d looked great and will only get better with spikes and cunningham back and ras-i looks for real

    • CC says:

      I had Ras-I as a Patriot Draft Pick very eary on, I was Snickered at on this site with people saying and talking about his height/size etc;, or we don’t need him, he isn’t prototypical, we have this guy and that guy…bla-bla-bla. Make no mistake about it, He will not be a game here or a game there guy. He can and will be a great at both Safety and CB for us. Wherever we need him, he’s gonna fit in that slot be it one or the other and show consistancy, which is something that has been sorely lacking…..This D need’s to tighten up the ship for sure, but it’s just game one. No more constantly wishing and hoping for guy’s to step up inbetween the patting eachother on the back because “we” picked up some 1/2 way at a “value”, that which we continually “hope” will step up and resemble old school Ty Law, Brusci, and the like. RAs-I is a clear step back in that type of direction……….and P.S.- he doesn’t hang out in the drug hood, get involved in shootings or is on tape stopmping on ppl’s heads while they are lying on the ground like B.M………..”BONUS”.

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