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Last year, the Dolphins defense (ranked sixth in the league, but ranked third before their final game of the season against the Patriots) sacked the opposing quarterback 38 times, 14 of those sacks belonged to Cameron Wake, and Tom Brady was a victim of three of those sacks.
Meanwhile, last year, Tom Brady was sacked 25 times, only five less than Chad Henne.
In recent years, it has been the Patriots offensive line that has been the cornerstone for their success. This was even shown in a Visa commercial in 2007 where the Pats O-Line was used to show Visa's identity protection features.
But New England's offensive line is currently in rebuilding mode. Matt Light is still the starting left tackle, but last season at times he showed signs of age—if Belichick feels that Nate Solder is ready to start, Light won't be around much longer.
Logan Mankins got the deal that he deserved, and I still expect him to perform the same way he's performed in recent years.
Koppen's chemistry with Tom Brady at center, along with his veteran leadership skills, is as valuable to the Patriots as Brady himself. But has age started to creep up to Koppen?
Dan Connolly is still the starting right guard, but new acquisition Brian Waters, formerly of Kansas City, will likely push Connolly.
Now look at the third preseason game for the Patriots against the Detroit Lions.
Detroit only netted two sacks against the Patriots, but their front seven was in Tom Brady's face throughout the game. Brady was 12-of-22, throwing for 145 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Many felt this game gave teams the blueprint for how to stop the Patriots this season.
While the game was being played at the same time that the Dolphins saw offensive line woes of their own in Tampa, I hope that the Dolphins coaching staff has plenty of tape of that game.
Miami's pass-rush can be just as good as Detroit's, and Cameron Wake compares very well to Ndamukong Suh (who wasn't responsible for any of the Lions' sacks that night but was in Brady's face the whole night). If the Dolphins can do to the Pats offensive line what the Lions did a couple of weeks ago, this game won't be what anyone expects it to be.