Dolphins vs. Patriots: Tua Tagovailoa’s absence changes playoff landscape

Just a few weeks ago, it looked like the Miami Dolphins were heading into the postseason. They even looked like contenders to battle the AFC’s top seed, the Buffalo Bills. Miami is now on the verge of making the playoffs. Quarterback Tua his Tagovailoa suffered his second recorded concussion this season and will miss this week’s game.

And it comes at a terrible time. The Dolphins need to win both games to keep their playoff destiny under control. A loss to the Patriots would still get them into the postseason, but they might need some luck in Week 18. The Patriots are desperate.

Teddy Bridgewater will start Sunday’s game. This Miami offense ignited Tua’s career, but Bridgewater has struggled. Bridgewater stepped in after Tua’s first recorded concussion in Week 4, with the backup completing his 60% of passes for 197 yards and losing by a touchdown and an interception. He later started in a Week 6 loss to the Vikings, with two touchdowns and an interception as he completed 67% of his 329-yard passing. He also took 5 bags. he wasn’t great.

The good news is Tyreek Hill poses a big challenge for New England. Clearly Hill is a problem for all defenses. But the Patriots’ defense has had major problems at cornerback, with Jalen Mills, Marcus Jones and Jack Jones dealing with injuries. As such, the already lackluster New England secondary may not have the best options. According to NFL Network, that’s against Bill Belichick’s longtime defenseman for the third-most receiving yards per game (99). sitting behind Rod Smith in

Miami’s offense needs to get through Hill and running backs Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert. The Dolphins have two games in which he has rushed for 180+ yards in recent weeks, but he tends to stay out of the game on the ground. They may have to stay committed this week.

For New England, you need to generate sales from Bridgewater. The Patriots defense leads the league in touchdown points scored (6) and generates red zone trips (2.6 per game (29th in the NFL)) and points (21.2 points per game (29th in the NFL)). Help their corrupt offense, which is a unit struggling to survive. ))). Edge’s Matthew Judon and Safety’s Devin McCourty are tasked with maintaining discipline to prevent a surprisingly common big play from the Dolphins. have to bear.

Mack Jones, meanwhile, will have to take advantage of the Dolphins’ secondary, which has been struggling all season. Receiver Kendrick Bourne enjoyed a comeback last week. Jones needs the help of Jacobi his Myers and RamondrĂ© his Stevenson to mount an attack. Because outside of these two playmakers, New England lacked consistent production.

miami dolphins


new england patriots


Featured Matches: Bridgewater vs. McCourty

This will be the game that decides the winner. New England needs to keep Hill and Jaylen Waddle from scoring long touchdowns. That means McCourty has to anticipate where Bridgewater wants to put the ball in advance. Conversely, Bridgewater needs to stay one step ahead of team safety his net, McCourty, to access the deep part of the field.

Key stats: The Dolphins have won four straight games against the Patriots. A win would be the longest winning streak against the Pats since the 1999-2001 five-game winning streak.

The Patriots are 7-1 when allowing 20 points or less this season, but 0-7 when allowing 21-plus points.

Will the Dolphins sit in Tua for the rest of the season after their second stint with concussion protocol?

Will the Dolphins sit in Tua for the rest of the season after their second stint with concussion protocol?

Joy Taylor considers second stint for Tua Tagovailoa in NFL concussion protocol, Miami Dolphins should shut him down for rest of season to benefit his health in the long run said.

predict: Without Tua, the Dolphins don’t have the same ability when it comes to offense. This would be a low scoring question. And given the Patriots’ experience winning those types of games, I think they’ll have the upper hand. increase.

Patriots 17, Dolphins 14

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Prior to joining FOX Sports as an AFC East reporter, Henry McKenna spent seven years covering the Patriots for USA TODAY Sports Media Group and Boston Globe Media. Follow him on Twitter. @ Macken analysis.

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