Where should Dolphins focus their offensive attack Week 15?

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Kyle Crabbs
·3 min read
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When the Miami Dolphins faced the New England Patriots in Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season, the team endured their worst offensive performance of the season to date. With just 11 points scored and three turnovers, the Dolphins left plenty of plays and points on the field in at 21-11 loss. But oh, how the times have changed. Since that Week 1 contest that dropped Miami to 0-1, the Dolphins are 8-4 in their 12 games since. The Patriots? They’re 5-7 in their own 12 game gauntlet between contests with Miami.

And the Dolphins offense looks different this time, too. There’a new quarterback behind center in Tua Tagovailoa — is that enough to push the Dolphins to victory? How can the Dolphins best attack a Patriots defense that was so effective in shutting them down in September?

Here are three areas of emphasis for Miami.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Feed Lynn Bowden Jr.

Huh? That’s right. In the first matchup between these teams, DeVante Parker missed the second half and Miami’s other targets were exposed as insufficient. But Bowden Jr. did not play in that game and in the past several weeks, we’ve seen him claim a sizable portion of Miami’s skill-player workload. Bowden Jr. is perhaps Miami’s most dynamic receiver after the catch and if the Patriots are committed to letting the Dolphins’ secondary targets beat them, so be it. Miami can oblige and get a big workload together for Bowden Jr. and let his athleticism shine.

Dec 13, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) attempts a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Be Willing To Take Shots Outside

The Patriots made a lot of their splash plays the first time around by baiting the Dolphins to test the middle of the field. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a critical interception just before half over the middle and was too ambitious in looking up the seam near the end of the game in throwing his third and final one of the contest. Did Tagovailoa learn from those lessons? And can the Dolphins successfully find space to work on the perimeter? The Patriots are likely to heat up the rookie quarterback with zero blitzes and often times getting an on-schedule shot outside can deter a team from coming back to the well.

Expect the Patriots to blitz until Tagovailoa proves he can beat it, so Miami can have success if they find a big target in one on one coverage outside early on and take the shot.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Be Wary Of Chase Winovich

The first time these two teams played, Patriots defensive end Chase Winovich proved to be quite the pain for the Dolphins’ offensive front. Winovich crashed into gaps on a regular basis and created chaos with his penetration. Can LT Austin Jackson have a better showing? Or will Miami need to add extra attention in his direction courtesy of double teams with a tight end to help slow down the former Michigan Wolverine? Regardless of how Miami gets it done, the Dolphins must be persistent to not let Winovich be the same pest up front that he was in the first contest between these two teams.