MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The talk is done with. The speculation is over. It’s time for the Dolphins to line it up and play their opener.

A road game in New England is never easy and week 1 of the NFL season will be no exception. Yes, the Patriots are coming off a subpar season and starting a rookie quarterback again the Dolphins. But that won’t give Brian Flores’ team a win.

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What will?

A top-notch performance from quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, a strong game from the offensive line, and a defensive scheme that will confuse first time quarterback Mac Jones.

On the last point, Dolphins fans have reason to be confident.

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Defensive coordinator Josh Boyer schemed up the unit to number 6 in the league last season. They were number 1 in forcing turnovers and one of the top defenses stopping the opponent on 3rd down. Yes, it’s not an automatic those performances will be repeated and there is some statistical background that states it will be difficult to repeat it. Put that aside though. This defense is deep with added talent in 1st round pick Jaelan Phillips and 2nd rounder Jevon Holland. In addition, the front seven is a year more experienced and veterans in the secondary were added with Justin Coleman and Jason McCourty.

On offense, the line is a unit that must prove itself. The team has invested substantial time and draft picks and the group needs to come together in front of Tua. He has had an excellent training camp and preseason and looks primed to take a big step. The line must hold up in front of him.

While the NFL schedule is now 17 games and opening day is not a must win, with Buffalo looming the next week followed by a trip to Vegas, this is a game the Dolphins really do need. It’s in the division, against a rookie quarterback and if the Dolphins are going to take the next step to the playoffs, these are the types of games they need to win.

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Kick-off is 4:25pm on CBS4, your official partner of the Miami Dolphins.

Steven "Goldie" Goldstein