Three Battles To Watch
Jarvis Landry vs Jonathan Jones – Landry had success against Jones the first time, although he was not able to break one open, catching eight balls for 70 yards. If the Dolphins hope for a fighters’ chance Monday night, Landry will have to be in the middle of it.
Dwayne Allen/Jacob Hollister vs Dolphins linebackers/safeties – With star tight end Rob Gronkowski suspended for this bout against the Dolphins, this could be a chance for Allen and/or Hollister to prove they can contribute going forward. Possibly give Belichick a reason to rest Gronk down the stretch?
Dion Lewis/Rex Burkhead vs Dolphins run defense – The Patriots rushed for 196 yards two weeks ago against the Dolphins, and 191 yards against the Bills last week. The play action game has benefited and Brady has not had to endure as much punishment. Will the Patriots flirt with 200 rushing yards for the third straight week?
Three Storylines To Watch
How do referees officiate this game?
The Steelers-Bengals match on Monday night football provided the football world a reminder that division games are still filled with hard hits, along with dirty ones. The Dolphins have a few players that need extra attention from the officials (Suh, Alonso) to make sure this game doesn’t make two straight Monday night games with plays that do not belong in football.
Will Patriots offense fault without Gronk?
The Patriots offense in the first half against the Bills was not pretty. They came out in the second half and fed the ball to Gronk and were able to score their first touchdown of the game. With Gronk suspended, will they be able to effectively move the ball?
Do struggles in Miami continue?
The Patriots have lost three out of the last four games down in Miami, which has historically been a tricky place to play for Brady. The warm weather in the beginning of December could be a factor, but Belichick and McDaniels need to be focused, particularly in the beginning of the game to make sure this game doesn’t turn into a squirrelly division slop-fest.
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