Patriots vs. Dolphins: Analyzing the Week 8 Match-Up

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Oct 25, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Rishard Matthews, Wide Receiver

Three receptions?  Meh.

75 yards and a touchdown?  Sweet!

Such was life for 2012 seventh-round pick Rishard Matthews last week, as he scored a 53-yard touchdown against Houston to put him at 4 touchdowns in 6 games on the season.  He also hasn’t dropped any of his targets in two games – Matthews was 9-9 with 160 yards in Weeks 6 and 7.

That’s the kind of production the Dolphins might have been hoping for out of their 2015 first-round pick Devante Parker, the 6’3’’ Louisville star who got injured and missed the preseason and then returned, only to mostly ride the bench behind, well, pretty much every other Dolphins receiver.  

Put it this way: Parker took six snaps against Tennessee.  Matthews played SIXTY.  Only Jarvis Landry took more snaps at receiver than Matthews.

The Palm Beach Post also reported that Kenny Stills is pretty much safe on the depth chart because of the home-run possibilities he opens up for Miami, which is, of course, what they hoped Mike Wallace could be last year.  That’s pretty definitively leaving Rishard Matthews as the #2 receiver, and he’s rarely leaving the field lately.

Who Can Stop Him?

Pretty much, just copy and paste the plan for stopping Jarvis Landry and swap Rishard Matthews’ name in there.  Whichever receiver doesn’t draw the double-team of a corner and a safety will likely get whichever other corner gets left by himself to deal with the #2 receiving option, and based on the last couple weeks, that seems to be Malcolm Butler’s new job.

Put it this way: if Belichick and Matt Patricia will leave Butler on his own against Eric Decker last week, then, well…put it this way.  Rishard Matthews is good.  But he sure as hell isn’t Eric Decker.

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