In anticipation of one of the final games of the season against arguably the Dolphins toughest opponent year in and year out, Phins Phocus and Foxboro Blog have decided to hold a little Q+ A and find out what we think about each other’s squads.
1) When you see the Dolphins on the schedule, what is your first thought?
For this year, I see the Dolphins as yet another challenge on the schedule. Let's face it. The Patriots are having trouble stopping any offense right now. Just look at the two games where Dan Orlovsky and Rex Grossman were continuing to drive down the field. Miami is red hot even without their head coach winning five of their last six games. The Patriots need to show in this game that they can beat up inferior competition if they want to be taken seriously as a defense that could take this team to Indianapolis in February. Miami may have nothing to play for, but you can never take division rivals lightly as we saw in September when Buffalo knocked off the Patriots.
2) Do you really believe the Patriots defense is good enough to win a super bowl?
I don't think they can win the Super Bowl right now, but there is luckily plenty of time for the Patriots to prove skeptics wrong. Andre Carter was their best player on defense and now he is out for the season with a quadriceps injury. If Brandon Spikes and Patrick Chung do not come back, this defense is definitely vulnerable. Its hard to imagine Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater starting in a Super Bowl on defense. That being said, the Patriots can stop the run with the exception of the last two games and Mark Anderson was a nice sign of a pass rush against Tebow on Sunday. It is possible they can win a Super Bowl with the defense, but I am not as optimistic now as I was a couple of months ago.
3) Which Dolphins player scares you the most?
For me, the one player that scares me the most is Brandon Marshall. Devin McCourty has been a shell of his 2010 self for the Patriots and Kyle Arrington is a cornerback that is known more for his interception ability than his pass coverage. Marshall has been a thorn in New England's side for the past few seasons. In 2009, he was the guy who helped the Broncos knock off the Pats under Josh McDaniels. In 2010, he had ten catches for 147 yards despite two Miami losses. This year, in New England's 38-24 win, Marshall came up big with seven catches for 139 yards. If the Dolphins are going to win this game, Matt Moore is going to have to beat the guy to beat them and having Brandon Marshall can definitely assist with that.
4) Who is your Patriots MVP … Gronk or Brady?
The MVP on this Patriots' team is still Tom Brady. As great a season as Rob Gronkowski has had, Brady still is the driving force behind this offense. Chad Ochocinco has done nothing, Deion Branch has had his share of injuries and numerous young players like Taylor Price and Brandon Tate have been cut. Yet, Brady is still able to find a way to put up another great statistical season, with the exception of the four interception game in the loss to the Bills. He has to deal with all the pressure of having a defense that just can't stop anybody and yet he still puts up 30 points per game. But, think of all the times Tom has come through with drive after drive. Whether it was the TD to beat Dallas, the TD to almost beat the Giants, the 2nd halves against the Jets, or the 900 yards he put up in the first two weeks, Brady is delivering. I would go Brady 55%, Gronkowski 45%. That's how close and how great each of them have been so far this season.
Thanks to the folks at Foxboro blog for doing with us this week and I have a feeling they will be having a more enjoyable weekend then us Dolphins fans.