By: Christine Roy
With the final game of the regular season upon us and two weeks of bad play behind them, it’s about time for the Patriots to get up heading into Sunday’s game against Miami.
There is no time like the present and the hot hand usually fares best come playoff time. This week’s matchup against the Miami Dolphins is the Pats last chance to get their play in order. They’ll need to come out hard and strong to show the league they’re not sliding their way into the postseason.
The Patriots may once again rely on plays from Danny Woodhead to spark some emotion against Miami. (FILE:USPresswire)
After their painful and ugly win against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, Tom Brady lit up the locker room with a few choice words. In his post game presser he was obviously upset as well he should have been. His team nearly lost to one of the worst teams in the league and their win came down to the last play of the game. Had the wind shifted and the odds not been in their favor, we could have had a much different week in Patriots media coverage.
With this week’s game now flexed to a 4:25pm start, the weather will be even colder for the Dolphins. They’ll need to layer up and will be stuck in Foxboro a little longer than they had originally anticipated. Once again they’re a team with nothing to play for and nothing to lose which could spell trouble for the Patriots. The Jaguars clearly didn’t sit back and let the Pats roll right over them. Head coach Mike Mularkey even went so far as to pass out baseball bats encouraging a physical game. If there is one obvious weakness with this Patriots team it is their trouble against physical teams. San Francisco hit them hard and we know how that ended, so hopefully this week they’ll be ready should the Dolphins decide to leave everything on the field.
20 Patriots are questionable for this matchup and that leaves me wondering if Bill Belichick is once again going to test his roster depth. I wouldn’t be surprised, but given the Brady blowup and the fact that you want to be playing your best football heading into the playoffs, it seems dangerous. Key players like Logan Mankins, Chandler Jones, Aaron Hernandez are on the list. Not to mention Aqib Talib who has been suffering through a hip injury from the Sunday Night game. He’s making progress but still will most likely sit out. Dealing with injuries and the playoffs is a tough job for Belichick. He’s going to have to strike a balance to keep his core healthy but also get the team rolling with improved play.
The past two weeks have been brutal for patsnation. Some are even saying the Patriots may have peaked too early. Their performance against the Houston Texans was something to write home about and since then, they’ve fallen flat.
Miami poses an interesting situation for this team. They have two choices, they can either pull on their big boy pants and play like the contenders we know them to be, or they can slide through, again, and make preparing for the playoffs that much harder.