Patriots-Dolphins matchup of the day: Saturday

Posted Sept. 10, 2011 @ 11:20 a.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

Here's a key matchup to watch in the Week One meeting between the Patriots and Dolphins:

Dolphins C Mike Pouncey vs. Patriots DTs Albert Haynesworth and Vince Wilfork

This is an area in which the Patriots should have a serious advantage on Monday night - the interior line. Wilfork is one of the best in the business and had a stellar 2010 season. Haynesworth is starting his revival in the Pats' opener, and indications are that he should be a force.

"It's time for me, the sleeping giant, to awake and get back out there on the field and play football again," Haynesworth said this week.

That's not something you want to hear from the player you are about to face, especially if you're a rookie, like Pouncey.

The Dolphins needed to shore up their interior O-line play, which is why they drafted Pouncey in the first round, but the former Gator couldn't ask for a harder first test, as he will be the first center to face the new Patriots front featuring two Pro Bowlers.

Expect veteran OGs Richie Incognito and Vernon Carey to help Pouncey when they can, but that will just open up lanes for LB Jerod Mayo and set up one-on-one matchups for the Pats' defensive ends.

Everyone wants to see how the Haynesworth-Wilfork front performs, especially Haynesworth, who wasn't effective in Washington. Should the Pats consistently win this battle, as expected, it will cause a lot of problems for a Miami offense that struggled mightily last season.