Programming Note: Listen to the first Presidential debate Monday night 9-11pm on WTIC NewsTalk 1080 and wtic.com.

TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Miami Dolphins At New England Patriots

Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots
(credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
(credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
(credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
(credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Quarterback
The Dolphins have struggled badly and have now lost three consecutive games after winning their first three. Some of this is on quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who has lacked the consistency in his game that he showed earlier this season and during his rookie year. Tannehill has good mobility and can throw on the move, but he does not have a powerful arm.
Winner This has not been the kind of stellar season that Tom Brady has usually enjoyed, and the lack of talent at the wide receiver position is a big reason for the downturn. However, Brady has made some poor throws, including the interception for a touchdown that Antonio Allen of the Jets returned in Week Seven. Brady’s performance should pick up with the return of Rob Gronkowski.
Offense
The Dolphins don’t have the kind of offense that is going to allow them to reel off three consecutive touchdowns and blow out an opponent. Running back Lamar Miller lacks special qualities, but he is averaging 4.3 yards per carry. Brian Hartline has excellent hands and can make key catches to keep drives alive. Mike Wallace has the speed to stretch the defense and make big plays.
Winner Stevan Ridley appears to have recaptured the starting running back position, but he could lose it if his fumbling problem returns. The Pats got a huge lift from the return of tight end Rob Gronkowski. His timing with Brady is not where it will be in another week or two, but he is the team’s best downfield weapon. Julian Edelman is versatile and reliable.
Defense
The Dolphins have not been overwhelming on defense, as they rank 20th in total yards allowed. Outside linebacker Philip Wheeler has a team-high 43 tackles and he is not going to let may ball carriers slip through his grasp. The Dolphins don’t have enough playmakers on defense, but middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe has 40 tackles and two fumble recoveries.
Winner The Pats have been wrecked by injuries on defense. Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and middle linebacker Jerod Mayo, arguably their two best players on that side of the ball, are out for the season. Top cover corner Aqib Talib (hip) did not play against the Jets, but he could be back for this game. Strong safety Steve Gregory has 45 tackles, the most of any active defensive player.
Special Teams
The Dolphins do a decent job in the punt and kickoff coverage, but they would like to get more from return specialist Marcus Thigpen. Placekicker Caleb Sturgis is fairly reliable as he has made 10-of-12 FG attempts, while Brandon Fields is averaging 49.9 yards per punt.
Winner The Patriots do an excellent job in the punt and kickoff coverage, and Edelman is capable of giving them a boost in coverage. Stephen Gostkowski is one of the most consistent field goal kickers in the league, having made 18-of-19 three-point attempts this season.

The Winner Is

(credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Winner New England Patriots
4 out of 4

The Pats are coming off a painful loss in Week Seven. They responded to their earlier loss with their best game of the season, a win over the Saints. Look for a strong showing from Bill Belichick’s team as it returns home to face another divisional rival.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons signals to his team during their NFL game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 18, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18:  Quarterback  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints hands off to Mark Ingram #22 during the first quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
    Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Atlanta Falcons At New Orleans Saints

    The NFC South rivals meet in the Big Easy with Brees and company looking for their first win.

  2. CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 19: Danny Trevathan #59 and Akiem Hicks #96 of the Chicago Bears
stop Ryan Mathews #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles
at Soldier Field on September 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Eagels defeated the Bears 29-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates with teammates center Travis Frederick #72 and offensive guard La\'el Collins #71 after scoring a third quarter touchdown against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 18, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Chicago Bears At Dallas Cowboys

    The Cowboys rookies have looked good the first two weeks, now they get the winless and injury plagued Bears at home.

  3. PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 18: Xavier Grimble #85 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates his touchdown with Ben Roethlisberger #7 in the first quarter during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on September 18, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles hands off the football to Ryan Mathews #24 in the first half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At Philadelphia Eagles

    The two Pennsylvania teams have gotten off to 2-0 starts. Who will win the battle for interstate bragging rights?

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Connecticut

Win Red Sox Tickets All Season
The Latest UConn News
Hear WTIC Podcasts

Listen Live