Trag's Take... Pregame Dolphins

Mike Petraglia
September 20, 2008 - 6:02 am
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Let's be honest here. Barring turnovers, there is no way the Patriots lose this game. The Patriots have too much talent, too much experience, too much depth and the urgency to head into their bye week with a 3-0 record. Everyone on the football planet respects Bill Parcells (his new title is Dolphins vice president of football operations) and his ability to remake a roster into the tough, physical image that has worked with both New York teams, the Patriots and Cowboys. It has also made him a consensus Hall of Fame choice down the road for his ability to spot talent and put them in positions to develop. Left tackle Jake Long, the No. 1 overall pick from Michigan, is just the latest in the long line of talent he's drafted. All of that being said, it's going to take time, losses and patience to turn around a team that has lost 20 of its last 21 games since handing the Patriots their last regular season loss in Dec. 2006. But since we're in the business of breaking it all down, here's what to look for on Sunday as the Patriots look to exert their authority. Third down and Red Area: Last week the Pats were just 1-for-5 inside the 20 and 6-for-14 on third down. The Dolphins are good in the red zone, one of their lone bright spots.

No Taylor, Thomas: Take advantage of the fact that Jason Taylor and Zack Thomas will no longer be providing nightmares to Patriots quarterbacks in the middle of a game. Take advantage with some play action and get the ball more to Kevin Faulk.

Get ball to Moss: Now would be a good time for Matt Cassel to let Randy Moss know that he needs him to be successful the rest of the season. Moss provides a huge mismatch against Will Allen, likely to spend the day covering Moss.

Don'€™t let Dolphins play keep away: Ronnie Brown may not be back to 100 percent after last season'€™s midseason knee injury and Ricky Williams, despite signing a contract extension, is nowhere near the power pack he was early in his career. Williams is averaging just 2.0 yards per carry but remains a threat with speed if he gets in open spaces.

Punch the Dolphins first: These Fish may not be better but they are tougher than they were a year ago, led by rookie tackle and No. 1 overall pick Jake Long out of Michigan. Establish your superiority early and let the rest take care of itself.

FINAL CUTS:

Bill Belichick says Fish are physical on D.

Matt Cassel not sorry to see Taylor and Thomas go.

Josh McDaniels says they'll do their best to go to Moss.

And let us not forget this is Patriots Hall of Fame weekend in Foxboro, as 12 Patriots players of years past will be re-inducted into the team's hall of fame along with new inductee Ben Coates outside the brand new The Hall at Patriot Place. Bill Belichick didn't forget on Friday. Be sure to listen to the end of the cut for an interesting acknowledgment from the coach.

FINAL TAKE:

Patriots 31, Dolphins 13