Down 2 DEs, do you think the Pats employ more of a 3-4, with Ninko and Hightower as outside backers, or stick with 4-3? - @MattMorrison

Good question, and I think you’re right, especially against a team like the Dolphins where shutting down Reggie Bush will be a big key.

However I think a lot of people tend to get confused about the 3-4 and 4-3. Just because one of the defense stands up doesn’t necessarily mean they’re suddenly in a 3-4. The real 3-4 basically features a 0-technique nose tackle, and two 5-technique over the tackles. We’ve seen a little bit of this in 2012, but more often you’ll see them in a 4-3 and the strong side defensive end might stand up to give him better leverage for setting the edge.

So yes, we’ll see a combination of both this weekend, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some more of the traditional 3-4 featuring Deaderick/Wilfork/Love or Brace up front and Nink/Hightower at the OLB slots.

I also wonder if we might see Hightower as an interior rusher in place of Cunningham in the sub package.

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