The Miami Dolphins have given teams a template on how to beat the New England Patriots, according to American football analyst Cian Fahey.
Fahey was speaking on The Snap and was worried about the reigning Super Bowl Champions' chances against the Tennessee Titans in their upcoming wild-card playoff game.
“The bigger question - and I put this up last night - is do the Titans have a better quarterback right now?
“They have the more athletic quarterback. They have the more comfortable quarterback at least,” Fahey said.
Tom Brady’s side were beaten by the lowly Dolphins in the last game of the regular season, with the quarterback’s struggles one of the major reasons for the loss.
Fahey believes that the Miami side have shown exactly how weaker sides can beat the Patriots and that their tactics will likely be replicated.
“I went through last week’s game because I had to figure out how the Patriots lost to the Dolphins. As much as the Patriots have fallen off, you would not expect them to lose to the Dolphins.
“Former Patriots Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores did something that’s pretty obvious. I think many teams can replicate this and should replicate this.
“They double-teamed Julian Edelman, they kept extra defenders over the middle of the field at all times and they often rushed only three. They didn’t go to heavy blitzes very often.
“So what that does is it forces Tom Brady to throw the ball outside of numbers on one-on-one match-ups. You could have done that in the past when you had Randy Moss 10 years ago.
“You could always do it when you had Rob Gronkowski because it’s an easy touchdown for him,” Fahey said.
The Irish analyst also pointed out that the Patriots can no longer fall back on the game plan that has been so successful for them and have not yet found a worthy replacement.
“He doesn’t have that anymore. Matt Lacosse and whoever else is playing tight-end is not going to do that for you anymore. Benjamin Watson is better for picking guys off.
“Mohamed Sanu is not going to do that for you anymore. So now when you focus all your resources on the middle of the field and you don’t blitz Brady and give him easy match-ups on the side - it’s very difficult for him to make those throws.
“You saw him repeatedly miss throws outside the numbers last week against the Dolphins,” Fahey commented.
The Patriots take on the Titans on Sunday at 1.15am Irish time, in a game that could see an unexpected Wild Card exit for the reigning Super Bowl champions.