5. Road Game - The Patriots have been awful on the road over the past couple seasons, for no real reason. Mike Reiss of ESPN breaks down some numbers that aren't very flattering. The team has been outscored 116-41 in the 2nd half of their past 8 road games. Quarterback Tom Brady has been the worst 4th Quarter quarterback on the road in the NFL since 2009- bar none. There's a lot of past history pointing against the Patriots in this game- can they overcome? The last road game they won against a team not named the Buffalo Bills was Week 15 of 2008, against the Oakland Raiders, with Matt Cassel at quarterback. The Patriots need to bury the past if they want to win this game against a team that always gives them fits. The Patriots need to score in the 2nd half and they need to stop the Dolphins. Sounds obvious, but it's extremely true for the Patriots.
4. Secondary Starters - Does Darius Butler get his starting spot back? Will Kyle Arrington stay a starter? How does Devin McCourty match up against WR Brandon Marshall? Where does Jonathan Wilhite fit in? Who starts at safety? Will Pat Chung help out against the run, or will he drop into coverage? Has Brandon Meriweather re-earned his starting spot? Will James Sanders see the field? Does Jarrad Page see a bigger role? Does UDFA Sergio Brown make the game day roster? This is a young secondary that has very little experience playing together- so who gets to see the field?
Visit Pats Pulpit for the other key storylines, including tight ends and a look at outside linebacker.