|Why To Watch|
New England is in real danger of falling below .500 and losing its slim lead in the AFC East. Ideally, the Patriots would like to stack the line of scrimmage with eight and nine men in an effort to force Miami QB Gus Frerotte to win this game with his arm. However, a secondary that has been depleted by injuries is vulnerable to getting beat deep when New England moves extra defenders into the box. The Patriots can expect to see a steady diet of RBs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams as a result.
Balanced offenses keep defenses guessing, causing them to react a little slower, making it easier for blockers to get into position. Since the Patriots have had a relatively one-dimensional passing attack this year, opposing defenses have been aggressive getting upfield on the pass rush, which puts more pressure on a young left side of the offensive line. New England needs to take some off that pressure of QB Tom Brady and that left side of the offensive line by showing a greater commitment to the ground game.