As the Dolphins prepare to take on the New England Patriots Sunday at Foxborough, we take a look at a couple of key individual that could greatly affect the outcome of the game.
Dolphins CB Andre' Goodman vs. Patriots WR Randy Moss
This is a mismatch on height, on paper and usually on the field. The 6-4 Moss tortured whoever was on him last year as he and QB Tom Brady
seemed to be having a catch against Pee-Wee DBs. Brady would just throw it up in the air and Moss would jump up and get it. In fact, FS Renaldo Hill
sustained a season-ending knee injury while trying to defend the six-time Pro Bowler on the aforementioned 35-yard TD jump ball in the Oct. 21 49-29 Pats' win. He had nine catches for 192 yards with four TDs in two easy wins over Miami last season. At 5-10, Goodman struggled mightily against 6-4 WR Larry Fitzgerald
and 6-1 Anquan Boldin
last week as the Arizona duo combined to catch 12 passes for 293 yards and three TDs, all by Boldin. Moss set an NFL record with 23 TDs last year, but with Brady done for the season he has to adjust to a first-time starter in Matt Cassel
. So far, Moss has had eight catches for 138 yards and one TD. Hill will help Goodman, leaving slot receiver Wes Welker
going one-on-one with Will Allen
, a matchup that Welker exploited last year for 14 catches for 187 yards and two TDs.
Dolphins C Samson Satele vs. Patriots NT Vince WilforkThis is another difficult match for Miami as Wilfork outweighs the athletic 6-3 Hawaiian by at least 30 pounds and is clearly stronger. It will be difficult for Satele to hold Wilfork up at the point of attack. Wilfork, who earned his first Pro Bowl berth last season, will be disruptive to the Dolphins' struggling running game, which is averaging 3.0 yards per carry. Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown have a combined 100 yards in the first two games. He already has 10 tackles, but the Patriots have allowed a lofty 4.3 yards per carry for 103 yards per game against two good running teams in the Chiefs and Jets. Satele admitted that Wilfork is the toughest nose tackle he's faced, but practicing against Jason Ferguson in practice has helped his confidence. The Dolphins will be running early and often after abandoning their ground game far too early in each of the first two games.