Patriots vs. Dolphins: Miami's Pass-Rush Will Leave New England in Its Wake

Richard LangfordCorrespondent ISeptember 12, 2011

MIAMI - OCTOBER 4: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots is hit after he passes by Cameron Wake #91 of the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Field on October 4, 2010 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The New England Patriots are on the verge of a shocking upset dealt to them by the Miami Dolphins.

At the heart of the upset effort will be the Dolphins' pass-rush and all-world outside linebacker Cameron Wake.

Wake is as good as any pass-rusher in the league. He gave the Patriots fits in his two matchups against the New England—especially in the first.

On the season, Wake had 14.5 sacks in 2010 and proved he can beat even the game's best tackles.

He won't have to beat the game's best tackles in this one. The Patriots' offensive tackles are going to prove to be a weakness for this team.

Patriots left tackle Matt Light was unable to handle Wake last season. New England needed to devote two blockers to slow him down, and Light will be at even a bigger disadvantage against Wake this year.

Light is quickly showing signs of aging. At 33 years of age, he is slowing and is far less effective than he used to be. He also spent his preseason rehabilitating from offseason shoulder surgery.

If Wake flips sides, he will find himself matched up with rookie Nate Solder. Solder is not ready to take on one of the league's premier pass-rushers and will need help anytime Wake is lined up opposite of him.

The fact of the matter is that the Patriots will have to devote the focus of their pass-blocking to Wake, and he is still going to beat them on plays. The attention he receives is going to open up things for Wake's Miami teammates.

Koa Misi is a solid pass-rusher at the other outside linebacker position, and Karlos Dansby can bring the heat from the inside backer position. Jason Taylor will also get snaps in passing downs and can still wreak havoc in the backfield.

These guys are going to make life miserable for Tom Brady, and this will allow the Dolphins' offense enough snaps to hit a groove and put up enough points to pull out this victory.