We are on the scene in Miami for Patriots and Dolphins
|09.12.11 at 5:56 pm ET|
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The Patriots have arrived in South Florida, and are ready to roll for their Monday Night matchup with the Dolphins at Sun-Life Stadium. Here are a few quick notes to get you started:
•The Patriots have already made a personnel announcement, saying that offensive tackle Thomas Welch has been promoted from the practice squad, while linebacker Jeff Tarpinian has been waived. The move addresses the depth problems New England had entering the game — with no Sebastian Vollmer, the Patriots were with just two healthy tackles entering the contest in Matt Light and Nate Solder. Tarpinian’s future is unclear — he could return to the team, possibly on injured reserve (he had injury problems over the course of camp and saw the field only rarely).
•The following players were listed as inactive for the game — linebacker Jermaine Cunningham, quarterback Ryan Mallett, wide receiver Taylor Price, linebacker Brandon Spikes, running back Shane Vereen, tackle Sebastian Vollmer and guard Ryan Wendell. No surprise on four of them, as they were downgraded to out on Sunday night (Price, Cunningham, Vollmer and Wendell), a group that included Tarpinian. Meanwhile, it’s clear that Spikes is continuing to work his way back to health, while Vereen hasn’t played much at all over the course of the preseason (he’s been slowed by a hamstring) while Mallett is a personnel move.
•The Patriots will be going for their eighth consecutive win in regular-season openers Monday against the Dolphins — the last time New England lost a regular-season opener was 2003 against the Bills in Buffalo, where they suffered a 31-0 defeat. Things certainly set up very well for them from a statistical standpoint, as Miami was just 1-7 at home last season, which included a 41-14 New England win last October.
•Here are some matchups to keep an eye on this evening, including Patriots quarterback Tom Brady against the Miami defense. Brady has struggled occasionally over the course of his career in Miami, but in his last three games against the Dolphins on South Beach, he has nine touchdowns, two interceptions and a 138.8 quarterback rating.
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