|11-08-2009, 01:50 PM||#1|
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Patriots-Dolphins halftime analysis
FOXBOROUGH -- Analysis from the first half, with the Patriots leading the Dolphins 16-10:
ESPN colleague Tedy Bruschi was right on the money. In this week's "Bruschi's Breakdown" that previewed the Patriots-Dolphins game, Bruschi said:
"Dan Henning is the Dolphins' offensive coordinator, and with that I think there is a high possibility the Patriots will be seeing a new wrinkle. The Patriots were the team initially caught off guard, and this year I think the new wrinkle could be Pat White. He can run the Wildcat and also be an accurate thrower as he showed in college at West Virginia. So that will be interesting to watch."
In a game that the Patriots were controlling in the second quarter with a 10-3 lead, the Dolphins took over at their own 20 and unveiled an option package with White. The second play was a 33-yard run off the left side. After a pass interference penalty on Leigh Bodden helped put the Dolphins in striking distance of the end zone, Ricky Williams took an option pitch right and scored from the 15.
How the Patriots adjust to the option is now one of the top questions of the game. They haven't seen the option since the touchdown drive.
From a defensive scheme perspective, the Patriots have either been in a base 3-4 alignment or a dime package (6 defensive backs), outside of one play in the nickel (5 defensive backs). The 3-4 was on the field during the option series.
Offensively, the Patriots have called on a mix of packages with the primary focus the passing attack as they are trying to exploit a young Dolphins secondary. The Dolphins, banged up in the secondary entering the game, lost impressive first-round pick Vontae Davis in the first quarter (he returned in the second quarter).
One change for the Patriots is their two-minute attack, which featured three receivers and two running backs.
The Patriots seemed to get the benefit of the doubt from the clock operator at the end of the first half, leaving one second on the clock for a field goal.
The Dolphins get the ball to start the second half.