The Blitz: A Familiar Foe

December 17, 2020

Today is the final day of 2021 Pro Bowl voting. You can help send your Miami Dolphins to the NFL's all-star game by casting votes on NFL.com.

On this Thursday edition of the Blitz, we look ahead to Sunday's game with Dolphins center Ted Karras, detail the nuance of the Patriots defense and flash back to a record-breaking day in 1984.

Wednesday Injury Report/Roster Moves

The Miami Dolphins today announced they have activated running back Matt Breida off the reserve/COVID-19* list.

Dolphins:

Tight end Mike Gesicki and safety Bobby McCain did not practice on Wednesday.

Running back Salvon Ahmed, offensive guard Ereck Flowers, wide receivers Jakeem Grant and DeVante Parker and linebackers Elandon Roberts and Kyle Van Noy were all limited participants in Wednesday's practice.

Patriots:

New England listed 13 players as limited participants in Wednesday's practice.

You can find the rest of the Dolphins-Patriots Week 15 injury report here.

They Said It

Karras is one of a few former Patriots who will see his former team Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium. His experience in the program makes him acutely aware of the challenges this division rival will pose.

"My main job mostly every week is identifying the fronts and helping (Tua Tagovailoa) identity the Mike (linebacker) point," Karras said. "Obviously as an o-line, we're going to have to do our part in protection and the run game to make him feel comfortable. I think that Coach Belichick is obviously one of the greatest coaches to be around the league and he schemes it up really well and he knows his opponents and tries to exploit their weaknesses."

Karras further discussed the matchup and some similarities in the defenses of both teams.

"A lot of the structure may be the same, but they have a lot of really good players. So do we," he said. "I think that we're both matched up pretty well against each other and we're kind of in the same family of defenses at least, and we've had some preparation; but it's all going to come down to in-game adjustments and how we prepare throughout the week and then when we get on the sideline after a drive – whether we score or not – making adjustments to see what they've declared they're going to do in the game."

Around the Beat

Injuries presented an opportunity for young Dolphins wide receivers and tight ends to become a bigger part of the passing game. Safid Deen of the South Florida Sun Sentinel looks at the cast of skill players who helped the Miami offense score 17 points in the fourth quarter.

Dolphins On Social

On this Day in Dolphins History

December 17, 1984 - Miami ends the regular season with the best record in the AFC (14-2) following a 28-21 victory over Dallas. WR Mark Clayton catches three touchdown passes to give him 18 for the season as he eclipses the all-time NFL mark in that category. Dan Marino becomes the first-ever NFL quarterback to pass for over 5,000 yards in a season as he ends up with 5,084. The most prolific passing season in NFL history also consists of 48 touchdown passes, 564 attempts, 362 completions and only 17 interceptions for a franchise record passer rating of 108.9. Both Clayton (73-1,389) and WR Mark Duper (71-1,306) surpass prior Dolphin records for receptions and reception yardage in one season.

Stat of the Day

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is 42-of-74 against the blitz with 413 yards, six touchdowns, one interception and a 94.0 passer rating this season, per Pro Football Focus.

Know the Patriots

New England blitzes at the ninth-lowest clip (24.0 percent) in the NFL, plays six defensive backs at the fifth-highest rate in the league (28.2 percent) and deploys more seven-defensive-back-packages (148 total) than any other team.

Content on Tap

We have a special feature coming your way today both on the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield and on MiamiDolphins.com. We'll hear from the three rookie offensive linemen – Austin Jackson, Solomon Kindley and Robert Hunt – about their rookie seasons, coming into the league together, the lessons learned in Year 1, and Solomon's push to get Offensive Line Coach Steve Marshall on TikTok.

Plus, we have a full slate of press conferences and the latest injury report to cover, which we will do on Top News.

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