Yup, we get Dan Dierdorf on the Patriots broadcast this week…

CBS sent their top crew of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms down to Giants Stadium this week to call the Chargers/Giants game at 4:00pm. This means we get the number two squad of Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf. OK, they’re not the worst combination out there…I actually really like Greg Gumbel, and though CBS had a stronger first team when he was on with Simms.

Dan Dierdorf
Dan Dierdorf

Here are some thoughts from Dan Dierdorf on tomorrow’s Patriots/Dolphins game:

(On Miami): After their 1-15 season, and the recovery last year, everyone in the AFC East takes the Dolphins a little bit more seriously than they used to, especially the Patriots who had problems with them last year.  We only know what the ‘wildcat’ is because of how it broke out of the gates.  And where did that happen – against New England last year.  That 38-13 loss at home where Ronnie Brown went crazy is still an irritant to New England.

(On Miami’s Wildcat Offense): It is part of who Miami is.  At times it has been a real asset.  But then you take last week and Miami was basically inept on offense, and yet somehow managed to win a football game.

(On New England): The bad news for Miami is every week that goes by we have seen a more comfortable and efficient Tom Brady in the pocket for New England. Even Brady’s biggest fans would have to admit he looked rusty at the beginning of the year.  Of course, what would you expect coming back from a total knee re-construction?  What you look for are signs of progress and improvement and he has shown those signs every single week.  This is also a Patriots team that has won its last two games by a combined score of 94-7.

(On match-ups where Miami may have three rookies in secondary): Miami won’t start three rookies back there because they’re trying to prove something.  They’re doing it out of necessity.  It’s their first, second and fifth round picks if Davis, Smith and Clemons all start.  I have a hard time imagining three rookies shutting down this New England passing attack.  It could be – not pretty.  Randy Moss can take a lot of coverage with him by going deep and that will leave the underneath for Watson and Welker.  And they also have been pleasantly surprised by Julian Edelman who has turned out to be a pretty solid receiver.

(On Miami-New England): This is a chance for New England to deal Miami a pretty good blow.  If Miami loses this game, it will really put them behind the eight ball in trying to catch up.  A young quarterback and a young secondary is not what you would call the ideal formula for success playing against a Bill Belichick football team.


ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown Presented by IBM will preview the day’s matchups Sunday at 11 a.m. ET with Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson. ESPN senior analyst Chris Mortensen and NFL insider Adam Schefter will provide headlines and league news.

The two-hour program will include reports from Rachel Nichols covering the Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals, Michael Smith at the Dolphins – Patriots game, and Bob Holtzman in Indianapolis for the Texans at Colts. Other highlights:

The Birth of the ‘Wildcat’: The last time the Miami Dolphins visited New England, they unveiled a new formation dubbed the “Wildcat” with great success – six plays, four touchdowns. Greg Garber looks back at the day the ‘Wildcat’ was born in the NFL.

NFL MATCHUP, Sunday 3 A.M. and 7:30 A.M. on ESPN

NFL Matchup with host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Merril Hoge and Ron Jaworski will preview the weekend’s games by bringing viewers inside the film room for the Xs and Os analysis of the matchups. The 30-minute program – taped each week at NFL Films in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey – highlights team strategy and game planning. This week’s features:

Dolphins @ Patriots – Jaworski breaks out his ‘Xs and Os Files’ and highlights how the Pats have been able to create favorable mismatches with player alignment and motion before the snap.

NFL Network

Sunday morning (9:00 – 1:00)  on NFL Gameday Morning, Kara Henderson reports from Dolphins-Patriots matchup.

Sunday 7:00 AM ET – AFC Playbook – Brian Baldinger, Sterling Sharpe and Joe Theismann discuss:

·         How the Patriots will keep the Dolphins’ wildcat offense in check

·         Why Patriots WR Wes Welker is QB Tom Brady’s new go-to guy