Sunday, September 11, 2011

Five questions heading into MNF vs. the Patriots

It's hard to say the Dolphins have gotten worse than they were a year ago with a 7-9 record.

The defense has only gotten better, with its elite defensive line all returning, Jason Taylor and Kevin Burnett upgrading the linebacker corps, and the young, promising secondary a year more experienced.

The offense, as terrible as it was, ranked 31st in the NFL last year, so there is really nowhere to go but up. Quarterback Chad Henne has also looked promising in Brian Daboll's new offense and knows he's on his last legs in Miami.

That being said, the Dolphins are still looking up at both the Patriots and Jets in the AFC East, and Buffalo's performance in the Week 1 opener is cause for some concern in Miami as well.

The Dolphins have the talent to contend for a playoff spot, but they are in a tough division and there are far too many question marks (especially on offense) to really figure out just how this team is going to do in 2011.

We'll know a lot more tomorrow night as the Dolphins face the Patriots in their regular season opener. The Patriots are understandably seven point favorites on the road coming off a 14-2 season in 2010.

As the Dolphins try to beat the Patriots for the first time since December 2009, here are five things I'm watching in the Monday Night Football matchup.

Discuss this article on the forum here!