THE BIG PRIORITY ON DEFENSE: Clearly, anytime you face the New England Patriots, the No. 1 priority on defense is finding a way to somehow slow down Tom Brady. In that vein, the Dolphins did a tremendous job in the teams’ first meeting this season as they held him to only 118 yards passing. The Dolphins did a good job of applying pressure, getting to Brady for three sacks and cornerback
A FAVORABLE MATCHUP FOR THE DEFENSE: When the Dolphins faced the Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 27, New England lost starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer to a leg injury that landed him on injured reserve. His place in the starting lineup has been taken by third-year player Marcus Cannon, who will be faced with the task of blocking two-time Pro Bowl defensive end
THE BIG PRIORITY ON OFFENSE: After losing their best defensive lineman (Vince Wilfork) and their best linebacker (Jerod Mayo) to season-ending injuries, the Patriots have been scrambling on defense to get the job done, but they’ve allowed four of their last seven opponents to score 30 points or more. The Dolphins had their way in the first half at Gillette Stadium, but New England started blitzing almost on every down in the second half and eventually sacked quarterback
A FAVORABLE MATCHUP FOR THE OFFENSE: The Dolphins had a lot of success running the ball in the first meeting, gaining 158 yards on the ground and averaging 5 yards per attempt. Keeping in mind that the Patriots haven’t allowed less than 4.3 yards per carry in their last six games, the opportunity should be there for the Dolphins to control the ball with their running game.
THE BIG PRIORITY ON SPECIAL TEAMS: While the defense got New England back in the game in the first meeting this season, it was the special teams that clinched the victory, more specifically Chandler Jones’ block of a field goal attempt by