cbs4 My 33 Header Logo

TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 13: New England Patriots At Miami Dolphins

Patriots
Dolphins
New England Patriots v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Seattle Seahawks v Miami Dolphins
Quarterback
Winner Tom Brady is perhaps the sharpest quarterback in the league. When it comes to understanding what opposing defenses can and can’t do, Brady is at the top of the list. He is also close to the best when it comes to passing accuracy, arm strength and quick release. He understands as much about offensive game planning as Bill Belichick.
Ryan Tannehill is exceeding expectations for his rookie performance. He has a great rapport with offensive coordinator Mike Sherman and that has allowed him to make wonderful progress. Tannehill has a quick release and is an accurate passer.
Offense
Winner The Patriots have a well-round offensive game. Stevan Ridley is a hard-nosed running back who takes just enough pressure off of Brady and the passing game. While the Patriots suffered a serious blow when they lost Rob Gronkowski (arm), they have plenty of weapons including Wes Welker, Julian Edelman and Aaron Hernandez who can make game-changing plays.
The running game is not much of an option for the Dolphins at this point. Reggie Bush had 87 yards in the Week 12 win over Seattle, but he lacks dependability. Brian Hartline is an excellent route runner who knows how to get open. Davone Bess has improved quite a bit since the start of the season.
Defense
Winner Give credit to the Patriots for making moves with their secondary. It was awful early in the year, but there are signs that it is improving, thanks to AqibTalib and improvement from some of the unit’s young players. The run defense has been solid throughout the season and Vince Wilfork can dominate the interior play with his bulk and quickness.
Winner The Dolphins have played well on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive end Cameron Wake has become a big-time pass rusher. He leads the Dolphins with 9.5 sacks and has an excellent first step when rushing the quarterback. Linebacker Karlos Dansby is a tackling machine. He leads the team with 83 tackles and he also has 7 passes defensed.
Special Teams
Winner Edelman has been a revelation on special teams, both as a returner and in coverage. He has the speed to break a long return and he was in the right place at the right time when he picked up a Jets fumble on a kickoff and return it for a touchdown. The combination of Stephen Gostkowski and Zoltan Mesko is quite underrated.
The Dolphins have done a solid job with their coverage teams this year. They have an advantage in both punt and kickoff returns. Marcus Thigpen has returned both a punt and a kickoff return for a touchdown this season. Dan Carpenter is a good but not great NFL kicker.

The Winner Is

New England Patriots v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winner Patriots
4 out of 4

The Dolphins can’t match the Patriots in talent, but they have played very well under rookie head coach Joe Philbin and gotten the most out of their ability. An upset over the Patriots would be a signature win. They would probably have to register at least three takeaways to have a chance. Brady has been sharp, so it will be difficult.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. (Source: Jeff Gross/Getty Images) (Source: Lars Baron/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Football vs. Futbol

    With the World Cup still going strong and the NFL just weeks away from getting started it seemed like a fun idea to compare the two sports that share the same name…sort of. From the global “futbol” to the American “football” these sports are two of the most popular in their own right. As somewhat of a disclaimer I will add that this Tale of the Tape is being written by an American, though I am a big soccer fan. That being said, let’s start the debate.

  2. FIFA President Jospeph Sepp Blatter and South Africa President Jacob Zuma present the World Cup trophy to Iker Casillas, captain of Spain, during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Final match between Netherlands and Spain at Soccer City Stadium on July 11, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Source: Jasper Juinen/Getty Images) South Korea's Kim Donghyeon practices during a men's Luge training session at the Sanki Sliding Centre in Rosa Khutor on February 6, 2014, on the eve of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games' opening ceremony. (Source: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: World Cup Vs. Olympics

    There are very few worldwide occurrences that captivate fans of every nation the way that the Olympics and World Cup have proven to do. When the time comes for either event you can bet that the majority of the world shifts their attention to these amazing month-long competitions. 2014 has been a great year for fans of the Olympics and the World Cup as both took place in the span of just a few months. With the World Cup still going strong and the Olympics fresh in the minds of fans across the globe, let’s see how they match up when placed side-by-side.

  3. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Richard Heathcote) (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Warren Little)
    Tale Of The Tape: Winter Olympics In Sochi Vs. FIFA World Cup In Brazil

    With both sites having their share of issues in hosting major international sporting events, we went to the tape to decide who was the worst host of 2014.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,469 other followers