Patriots vs. Dolphins: 10 Bold Monday Night Football Locks

Bailey Brautigan@BBrautiganFeatured ColumnistOctober 4, 2010

Patriots Vs. Dolphins: 10 Bold Monday Night Football Locks

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    Monday Night Football is here again, and this time we will see an AFC East matchup between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins.

    In perhaps the best Monday night game yet this season, we will see elite quarterback Tom Brady lead his team down south to test Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall on their home turf.

    So what are the keys to this game? Who will shine, and who will struggle?

    And which team will come out on top?

    I'm 3-0 with my Monday Night Football picks this season, so let's find out if I can do it again.

    Here are 10 predictions for tonight's game.

10. Jason Allen

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    Jason Allen had a tough game last week against the New York Jets, and even though this cornerback had a pretty nice start to the season, Tom Brady and his receiving corps will give the Dolphins secondary a run for their money.

9. Joe Berger

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    Establishing the run will be vital for both of these teams tonight, and Berger will have to go head-to-head with Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork in order to gain momentum on the ground.

    Wilfork had some issues with Berger last year, so I expect Berger to move the ball quite a bit in this game.

8. BenJarvus Green-Ellis

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    Just like the Dolphins, the Pats will also need to run the ball up the gut of an average Miami rush defense.

    Miami is ranked No. 19 in defending against the rush, so we can expect New England running backs to be the workhorses of this offense.

7. Randy Moss

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    Randy Moss has had a fairly slow start this season, but I expect this to be his game to shine. Vontae Davis has been able to keep up with Moss in previous games, but the Pats will need Moss to step it up tonight.

    And he will be happy to oblige.

6. Aaron Hernandez

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    The Dolphins had trouble defending against Dustin Keller of the New York Jets, and Aaron Hernandez will be no different.

    Keller racked up 98 yards and two touchdowns last week, and the Patriots will rely on the explosive Hernandez to give Brady plenty of options.

5. Chad Henne

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    Even with a loss against the New York Jets, Chad Henne had a pretty impressive game throwing for 363 yards and two touchdowns.

    Henne may be turning into a very good leader on the Dolphins offense, but he will need some better protection to stay on his feet and make the big plays.

4. Brandon Marshall

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    The Pats will need to be all over Brandon Marshall tonight if they want any chance at keeping the Dolphins from putting points on the board.

    This means that Marshall will draw double coverage from New England resulting in two things:

    1. Marshall won't do much this game.

    2. Other options will take advantage of this double coverage.

3. Road Vs. Home

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    The Patriots have had some troubles late in the game (especially when they play on the road), but even though the Dolphins seem to travel well, they didn't benefit from their home field advantage against the Jets.

    I expect Tom Brady to step it up and dominate the time of possession throughout the entire second half.

2. It'll Be a Close One

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    The line on this game is at -1 in favor of the Patriots, so we know this will be a close game no matter who wins.

    This will be a very tough game, and no matter how much we want to talk about Tom Brady or Brandon Marshall, it will be the defenses that will shine tonight.

1. Pats Win On The Road

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    This week's pick was a tough choice considering how well these teams match up against each other.

    But I'm going with the Pats in a down-to-the-wire win.

    Predicted Score: Patriots 24, Dolphins 20