|Last 3 Games||2-1||+1||2-1||2-1||31.0||13.3||373.7||(5.8)||0.3||22.7||9.3||428.7||(6.5)||1.3|
|Offense (All Games)||27.9||11.2||23.3||30:16||30-131||(4.4)||23-38||60.3%||252||(6.6)||68-383||(5.6)||(13.7)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||23.1||11.7||19.2||30:15||27-112||(4.1)||21-35||59.7%||226||(6.4)||62-338||(5.4)||(14.6)|
|Offense Road Games||24.1||10.1||23.1||29:59||25-107||(4.2)||24-41||59.7%||264||(6.5)||66-371||(5.6)||(15.4)|
|Defense (All Games)||21.4||9.4||21.2||31:01||29-129||(4.4)||22-37||57.7%||252||(6.7)||67-381||(5.7)||(17.8)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||22.6||11.5||19.9||30:16||27-108||(4)||22-37||61.2%||238||(6.5)||64-346||(5.4)||(15.3)|
|Defense Road Games||22.1||9.3||21.6||31:07||30-119||(4)||23-36||63.2%||258||(7.2)||66-377||(5.7)||(17.1)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.6||0.5||1.1||0.7||14-6||39.8%||1-0||44.4%||2-54||(23.7)||2-23||(10.3)||4-37|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1||0.5||1.4||1.8||14-5||38.0%||1-0||43.0%||2-55||(23.9)||23-2||(10.2)||6-53|
|Stats For (Road Games)||0.7||0.4||1.1||0.2||13-5||40.5%||1-0||50.0%||2-46||(23)||1-19||(12.9)||4-39|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.2||0.7||1.8|| ||14-6||42.7%||1-0||26.1%||2-38||(20.1)||2-13||(7.1)||7-57|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0.6||1.6|| ||14-5||38.6%||1-0||42.5%||2-55||(23.2)||20-2||(9.1)||6-53|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||0.8||0.6||1.3|| ||14-6||45.5%||1-0||30.0%||2-34||(22)||2-13||(8.4)||6-49|
|Last 3 Games||1-2||-2.8||1-2||0-3||10.3||4.7||259.0||(4.7)||2.0||19.7||11.3||405.7||(5.5)||0.7|
|Offense (All Games)||19.8||10.0||17.4||28:42||22-90||(4.1)||22-37||60.1%||222||(6)||59-312||(5.3)||(15.8)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||22.6||11.5||19.3||30:08||27-114||(4.2)||21-35||59.9%||229||(6.5)||62-343||(5.5)||(15.2)|
|Offense Home Games||20.0||10.9||16.5||27:25||20-91||(4.5)||22-37||60.9%||230||(6.3)||57-321||(5.6)||(16)|
|Defense (All Games)||20.9||9.9||20.4||31:49||30-125||(4.1)||21-36||59.3%||234||(6.5)||67-359||(5.4)||(17.2)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||22.5||11.1||20||30:27||28-114||(4.1)||22-36||60.7%||231||(6.5)||64-344||(5.4)||(15.3)|
|Defense Home Games||21.0||9.9||22.5||33:37||32-134||(4.2)||23-39||60.6%||247||(6.4)||70-381||(5.4)||(18.2)|
|Stats For (All Games)||1.2||0.4||1.6||-0.1||14-5||35.0%||1-0||25.0%||3-56||(21.5)||2-17||(7.6)||4-37|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1||0.5||1.5||2||14-5||38.8%||1-0||40.8%||2-56||(23)||21-2||(9.7)||6-54|
|Stats For (Home Games)||1.0||0.5||1.5||0.0||13-4||30.5%||1-0||40.0%||2-52||(21)||2-16||(7.6)||4-33|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.1||0.4||1.5|| ||15-6||38.2%||1-0||53.3%||2-52||(22.9)||3-25||(9.7)||6-47|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0.5||1.5|| ||14-5||38.8%||1-0||43.7%||2-51||(23.2)||20-2||(9.6)||6-51|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||1.1||0.4||1.5|| ||16-7||43.7%||1-0||80.0%||2-40||(22.6)||2-26||(10.5)||6-51|
|Average power rating of opponents played: NEW ENGLAND 19.2, MIAMI 21.1|
|9/7/2014||@ MIAMI|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/14/2014||@ MINNESOTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/21/2014||OAKLAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/29/2014||@ KANSAS CITY|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/5/2014||CINCINNATI|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/7/2014||NEW ENGLAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/14/2014||@ BUFFALO|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/21/2014||KANSAS CITY|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/28/2014||*OAKLAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|NEW ENGLAND: Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has always had a strong preference for the power running game, using a lot of classic looks with pulling guards opening up room on between-the-tackles runs. Stevan Ridley had every chance to become a full-fledged feature back the past two seasons, but his tendency to put the ball on the ground will likely lead to a committee approach again, with Ridley splitting time with Brandon Bolden. Shane Vereen is more of an out- side-the-tackles, change-of-pace back.|
This is a pick-your-poison passing game. The fact that New England played all of 2013 without Aaron Hernandez and most
of it without Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola makes it difficult to pinpoint what they'd like to do, but Julian Edelman and Amendola working underneath will be a primary focus. Gronkowski, who often stays in to pass protect, stretches the middle of the field, with either Aaron Dobson or Brandon LaFell working on the boundary. Vereen runs a lot of wheel routes, and he and Edelman are used frequently in the screen game. When the Pats throw in the red zone, Gronkowski is often the primary target, but Edelman will continue to benefit from the attention Gronk draws in the end zone. Vereen had three receiving TDs on four targets inside the 10 last season.
The Patriots give up gobs of yards, but still placed among the top-10 NFL defenses in points allowed, turnovers and sacks. They finally bolstered their lackluster secondary by inking star cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, and will also get unit leaders DT Vince Wilfork and MLB Jerod Mayo back from injury to man the middle.
|MIAMI: Miami has a new offensive coordinator in Bill Lazor, a new offensive line coach in John Benton, a new starting RB in Knowshon Moreno, and a revamped offensive line. It may take a few games to get the zone-blocking scheme going. The Dolphins were the third-most pass- heavy team in the NFL last year'considering Lazor's background as a quarterbacks coach, they figure to keep relying on the passing game. Moreno figures to take the bulk of the work, with Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas (if he makes the team) battling for scraps behind him. Thomas took the bulk of the red zone touches as last year went on, but Moreno is expected to take most of these reps in 2014.|
After a year as a quarterbacks coach in Philly, Lazor figures to bring a more up-tempo, spread philosophy to the Dolphins. Miami is expected to rely on Mike Wallace more often this year, especially in more catch-and-run situations. Moreno will see heavy work in the screen game. Brian Hartline figures to be more of a traditional possession receiver, with he, Jarvis Landry and tight end Charles Clay working a lot of deep crossing routes. Clay is likely to work downfield much more often than he did last season. It's an offense with some slow developing routes, so quarterback Ryan Tannehill is probably going take a ton of hits again. When the Dolphins throw in the red zone, Clay was targeted often, as was Brandon Gibson before his season-ending knee injury.
The Dolphins were able to improve their secondary this offseason by signing a couple of seasoned veterans in cornerback Cortland Finnegan and safety Louis Delmas, but this unit doesn't have a whole lot of star power other than defensive ends Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon, who combined for 20 sacks last year.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (NEW ENGLAND-MIAMI) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(UPDATES with Brady returning to practice)
*Patriots-Dolphins Preview* ===========================
By ALAN FERGUSON STATS Writer
Nearly a decade has passed since the New England Patriots last held the Lombardi Trophy, and with Tom Brady closer to 40 years old than 30, it's unclear how big of a window the franchise has remaining to win another title during his tenure.
Brady, though, should be more familiar with his receiving corps this season thanks to a number of returners and the Patriots appear to have gained a suitable substitute for tight end Rob Gronkowski in case he's not ready for Sunday's opener at the Miami Dolphins.
New England (12-4) is coming off its 11th AFC East title in coach Bill Belichick's 14 seasons and reached the conference title game for the third straight year. However, the Patriots again fell short of the ultimate goal with a 26-16 loss to Denver.
Brady, who turned 37 on Aug. 3, opened last season without his top five pass catchers, including Gronkowski, who would play in only seven games. This year, Brady could have his top nine receivers back depending on Gronkowski's health.
"The more we're on the same page, the better we're going to be," Brady said. "Offensive football is about anticipation and about having a lot of trust and confidence in one another. I think we built on that."
Gronkowski underwent knee surgery in January and missed the final five games, including two in the playoffs. He didn't participate in any of the four preseason contests, but on Monday proclaimed himself ready for the season opener.
The next day, Belichick wasn't ready to commit, saying "With all due respect to Rob, I'm glad he feels the way he does. We'll have to make the decision that we feel is best for the team and we'll do that as we go through the week."
Gronkowski practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and Thursday, while Brady returned to practice Friday after a one-day absence that the team attributed to a calf injury.
Adding perhaps further intrigue, the Patriots acquired tight end Tim Wright from Tampa Bay on Aug. 26 for six-time Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins. Wright had 54 receptions for 571 yards and five touchdowns in his rookie season, and made four catches for 43 yards in New England's final preseason game.
The Patriots also brought in receiver Brandon LaFell, who had a career-high 49 catches in his fourth season with Carolina in 2013.
"We certainly have some new players, some new additions who are doing different things," Brady said. "Different guys are playing some different spots. But everyone's kind of got to find a role for themselves, and then we go out there and let it rip and see where we're at."
Those additions could help Brady top 4,000 yards for a fourth consecutive season and improve on last year's 87.3 passer rating - his lowest in a full season since 2003.
The loss of Mankins, though, might not aid Brady's chances of staying upright more in 2014. He was sacked 40 times, one shy of a career high and 13 more than in 2012.
Ryan Tannehill could empathize after enduring a league-high 58 sacks last season, which was also a franchise record. After a tumultuous 8-8 season, the Dolphins beefed up the offensive line and brought in former Philadelphia quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor to run the offense.
Lazor, who aided second-year quarterback Nick Foles' rise with the Eagles in 2013, replaces Tannehill's former coach at Texas A&M, Mike Sherman.
"It could be really good," center Mike Pouncey said. "You've seen it last year with the Philadelphia Eagles. They obviously had one of the best offenses in the NFL. We're hoping to go out and do the same thing with our offense. We've got the playmakers to do it."
Branden Albert, a Pro Bowler in 2013 for Kansas City, is installed as the new left tackle and first-round draft pick Ja'Waun James is expected to anchor the right side. The Dolphins, though, likely won't get Pouncey back from hip surgery until at least the end of the month.
In an NFL investigation of Miami's bullying scandal last season, Pouncey was named as one of three offensive linemen who harassed Jonathan Martin along with Richie Incognito and John Jerry. The other three players are no longer with the team, but the Dolphins picked up the fifth-year option on Pouncey's contract in April.
Pouncey was also served with a grand jury subpoena following a 27-17 loss in New England on Oct. 27 as part of the investigation of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, currently awaiting trial on the first of three murder charges.
Defensively, the Dolphins won't have lineman Dion Jordan, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 draft, for four games because of a PED suspension. Starting safety Reshad Jones will also miss the first four contests after failing a drug test.
Darrelle Revis will make his debut on New England's defense and try to help secure Belichick's 200th career regular-season victory. The Patriots signed the five-time Pro Bowler on March 12, days after losing Aqib Talib to Denver.
Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork are hoping for healthier seasons after playing a combined 10 games because of a torn pectoral and a torn right Achilles, respectively.
New England had won seven in a row over Miami until a 24-20 road defeat Dec. 15 that allowed the Dolphins to clinch their first non-losing season since 2008. They went 11-5 in that campaign and made their only playoff appearance in the last 12 years.
|Last Updated: 10/22/2014 9:16:33 AM EST|