OFFENSIVE PLAN- Trying to consider all of the options, I think it's in the Patriots' best interest to come into the game having a pass first mentality. My main reason is that with big chunks of yardage being collected on each play, the offensive line won't get worn down. Frequently teams go with a run first offense to try and wear down the opposing defensive line. Playing in temperatures which will feel like 100 degrees before the pads and helmets go on, fast possessions will keep the offensive line fresh. Additionally, with our sudden riches in wide-receiver depth we can plan on wearing down their cornerbacks and safeties. Last year the the Dolphins were second worst in the NFL with 8 defensive pass interference penalties at home. I think we could get several today. Of course they might be dismissed when we catch the ball anyhow.
SPECIAL TEAMS- Not having Brandon Bolden back to receive kickoffs isn't likely going to affect today's game. Gunner Olszewski will probably have more touches with punt returns than any individual Patriot does on offense. With the Dolphins' red zone defense being so poor, we could probably sit Gostkowski for the day and let Jake Bailey show off his kicking leg.
FAMILIARITY FACTOR- While the familiarity factor has come into play with former Patriots becoming head coaches around the league, I think it will be a non-factor today. Flores doesn't seem to have any buy-in with his team, and the Patriots offense is evolving week by week. While he was well-regarded by the team, Flores wasn't that high up on the coaching tree for very long. Additionally, Dolphins' offensive coordinator Chad O'Shea is in over his head as he jumped from being the Patriots' wide receiver to this new gig last winter. The only wide receiver O'Shea can inform the defense about is Edelman, and Edelman doesn't have a weakness to exploit.