After beating Brett Favre last week in New York, the New England Patriots face another tough quarterback with Miami's Chad Pennington coming to town on Sunday afternoon.
"I've always been impressed with Chad ever since he came into the league. I think he's a really smart quarterback, very accurate, good decision maker, and can manage a game and run the team exceptionally well," Patriots head coach Bill Belichicktold the Boston Globe.
The Patriots will need help in all areas of the game, including special teams, where Stephen Gostkowskiis coming off an impressive performance in which he kicked five touchbacks and hit four field goals against the Jets.
"When you see someone playing that well, you really appreciate it. It fires you up a little bit," linebacker Mike Vrabeltold the Boston Herald.
Gostkowski has made 48 of his last 53 field-goal attempts dating back to last season
"I just try to get ready when they call for field goal, and try to go out there and make it way more times than I'm not going to make it," Gostkowski told the New Bedford Standard Times.
The defense is also stepping up, particularly in the red zone. The Patriots have already made two key stops inside the 20-yard line through the first two games of the season.
"We have a lot of areas to improve in but it's definitely encouraging, the fact that we've improved in the red area and on our goal-line defense," safety Rodney Harrisontold the Providence Journal.
Offensively, there's room for improvement. The Patriots went 1-for-5 in the red zone last weekend against the Jets.
"We need to improve, plain and simple," running back Kevin Faulktold the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Regardless, the Patriots have a challenge on their hands because they are facing a new-look Dolphin team that bears no resemblance to the one that shut them out in December of 2006 – their last regular-season loss.
"They have a lot of new players, younger players and obviously a big makeover going on with that team," Belichick told the MetroWest Daily News.
In Miami, the big news is Joey Porter's mouth. The veteran linebacker took shots at Patriots' quarterback Matt Casseland all but guaranteed a victory for the Dolphins on Sunday.