NFL Week 2: How to watch Patriots at Dolphins on CBS, CBS All Access
The Patriots are heavy favorites against Miami in Week 2
This one could get ugly.
The Patriots are fresh off a 33-3 beatdown of the Steelers in their Week 1 opener, while the Dolphins are looking like the worst team in football after a 59-10 loss to the Ravens. Given that clear gap of talent between these two teams, it's fitting that the spread in this contest is over two touchdowns.
Miami isn't a good football team this season, but there have also been occasions in the past that even poor Dolphins squads have been able to get the better of New England at home as the Patriots historically play poorly down in Florida.
If everything falls as we expect, this matchup shouldn't be particularly close, but it could be interesting to watch just how dominant Tom Brady's offense can be against this subpar defense. With that in mind, here's how to catch the action between the Pats and Fins along with three keys to victory for each team.
Patriots at Dolphins
Patriots' keys to victory
Don't make silly mistakes: The Patriots are clearly the more talented team here. The only thing that is really in the way of securing their second win of the season is themselves. If they start committing bad penalties and are turning the ball over, that will open the door for Miami to make things interesting. Really, it's about New England not losing this game more than how Miami can win it.
Unleash Sony Michel: The Ravens were able to run down the Dolphins' throats in Week 1, totaling 265 yards on the ground on 5.8 yards per carry to go along with two touchdowns. Mark Ingram was particularly dominant as he contributed 107 yards on 14 carries and accounted for those two scores. For the Patriots, this could be a solid opportunity to really lean on Sony Michel. The second-year back didn't play particularly well in the opener, so giving him more reps against an inferior opponent not only will kill clock, but also instill some confidence in him going forward.
Keep Tom Brady upright: The way teams have been able to get the better of the Patriots in the past is by hitting Tom Brady. The fact that they are already down their starting center David Andrews (blood clots) for the year and could be without starting right tackle Marcus Cannon (shoulder) is a bit concerning for the 42-year-old. As long as he has a clean pocket, he should pick apart Miami's defense.
Dolphins' keys to victory
Hit Tom Brady early and often: This basically echoes what I mentioned above. Best way to beat Tom Brady (and every other quarterback) is hitting him as much as possible. That may be an issue for Miami, as they were only able to notch two quarterback hits and a sack against Lamar Jackson last week. That said, Dolphins head coach Brian Flores did work with the Patriots for over a decade and was their defensive coordinator in 2018. He surely has a few tricks on how to get after TB12.
Try to dominate time of possession: The best way to slow down New England's offense is to keep them off the field. If Miami can make this a low scoring game and hang on to the ball as much as possible, that's the best way they can give themselves a chance to win against the Pats.
Hope for another Miami Miracle: Let's be honest, the Dolphins will need another miracle to beat the Patriots. It doesn't have to be a last-second lateral, but they need to pull a rabbit out of their hat to beat New England this time around.
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