Curran: Things to watch during Pats-Dolphins

Curran: Things to watch during Pats-Dolphins
October 27, 2013, 12:15 pm
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FOXBORO -- Tom Brady had some tape connecting two of his fingers on Saturday afternoon. Dire? Not likely.

We all saw Brady flexing and checking his right hand last Sunday against the Jets but neither the velocity nor tightness of his throws was impacted in that game. Brady’s fingers didn’t rise to the level of including him on the injury reports, which would have happened had that specific injury limited him in practice. Brady was, however, on the injury report with the old right shoulder malady. Coincidence that that cropped up the week his fingers got banged up? Who knows. Either way, unless we’re seeing the speed and velocity impacted, it’s not a big deal. Every player in the league by now has bruised everything.
 
* Bryant McKinnie appears primed to start for the Dolphins at left tackle. That’s going to put him out there in battle with Chandler Jones and/or Andre Carter. If that’s the case, the appliance-sized McKinnie is dealing with speed and power. Can he be exploited out there? The Dolphins have been horrific in pass protection (26 sacks allowed) so this is a prime place to watch the Patriots get off the ball and move Tannehill. Of course, then you have to deal with the chance of him getting outside the pocket and running out against a group that didn’t have great contain last week against Geno Smith.
 
* No Aqib Talib means the Patriots best cover guy -- by a lot -- is down and the Patriots are going to be dealing with a very good complement of receivers. No superstars per se on the Dolphins but plenty of guys who can beat you 1-on-1 and are smart.