Originally written November 30, 2012 on Phin Nation:
Dolphins_vs_bucs_d77a
The Miami Dolphins playoff hopes are on life support  and in a coma right now, but their heart is still beating.  Sticking with that analogy, the Dolphins will need to have a medical miracle happen and wake up from their coma on Sunday.  The Dolphins welcome in the Patriots on Sunday, a team that is playing better than any team in the NFL right now.  The Dolphins are 9 point underdogs, at home, so we know that most in the football world don’t think they have a shot in this game.  I certainly can’t say I’m confident, however I do think the Dolphins have a chance, albeit a small one. For the Dolphins to win, they need to find a way to slow down the Patriots offense and find a way to get their own offense to perform efficiently.  The Dolphins coaching staff certainly has their work cut out for them this week, but the key will be for the Dolphins players to execute the plays that are called and minimize their mistakes.  Here’s our gameplan for the Dolphins on Sunday, please feel free to leave us a comment if you have any additions. Attack Tom Brady  Remember the days when Jason Taylor and the Dolphins defensive line gave Tom Brady nightmares?  As good as the Patriots have been for the last decade, the Dolphins defense always seemed to find a way to slow down the Patriots.  The Dolphins blueprint was very similar to what the NY Giants have done in Super Bowls to beat the Patriots.  The Dolphins were able to get pressure on Tom Brady with their front 4 defensive linemen.  Getting in Tom Brady’s face is crucial to slowing down the Patriots offense. Even if the Dolphins don’t sack Brady, they must hurry him and hit him early and often. The Dolphins have played a lot of zone coverage in the secondary because of their lack of talent to play man to man.  If they do this on Sunday, Brady will pick them apart.  The Dolphins aren’t going to confuse Brady, he’s seen everything.  However, if they mix man coverage with zone and mix in some timely blitzes, they might be able to disrupt the rythm of the Patriots offense.  The Patriots run a lot of screen plays, both to their running backs and wide receivers.  Throwing quick screens to the wide receivers has helped Tom Brady complete over 66% of his passes, good for the 2nd highest QB rating int he NFL (105.2).  Ultimately, it will come down to Cameron Wake, Jared Odrick, and Olivier Vernon winning their 1 on 1 battles against the Patriots offensive linemen.  I say this, because if Tom Brady is given all day to find a receiver, he’s going to find them.  (cont’d on page 2, click below)
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