Patriots familiar with Ndamukong Suh well before his Dolphins days

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots host the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night, which means it's the first time they'll face defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh since he took his talents to Miami Gardens after five seasons in Detroit.

The 6-foot-4, 320-pound Suh, who has started all six games this season and has 17 tackles, two sacks and four passes defended, remains a powerful presence.

"He's played well," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said, pointing out that the Texans had a hard time blocking him Sunday. "They're a very talented defense, really good up front. They're all a problem [but] Suh, he's near the top of the list, that's for sure."

Despite this being Suh's first season in the AFC East, the Patriots have plenty of history with him.

In two regular-season meetings -- a 45-24 win over the Lions on Thanksgiving in Suh's rookie season of 2010, and a 40-9 victory at home last year -- they effectively stopped him from taking over the game.

Suh still had his moments, totaling eight tackles (five for a loss) and one sack in those games. But by devoting multiple blockers to him, playing fast and getting the ball out of Tom Brady's hands quickly at times, while forcing Suh to play more snaps than he was accustomed to, the Patriots' plan was designed in part to tire Suh out.

Will history repeat itself Thursday?

Belichick pointed out Monday that Suh most often lines up on the offensive right, so one of the notable subplots will be how the Patriots configure their offensive line. Rookie Tre' Jackson, the fourth-round pick out of Florida State, went wire-to-wire at right guard in Sunday's win over the Jets. If rookie Shaq Mason's injured knee allows him to return to action at left guard, the Patriots might prefer to have third-year player Josh Kline at right guard.

Either way, everyone has to be prepared to possibly block Suh, which is one of the tougher challenges in the NFL.

The Patriots hope it goes better than the two times they faced him in the preseason (2011, 2013), as those games didn't go as planned (34-10 loss, 40-9 loss). Suh had three quarterback hits in those games, later taking to social media and talking about beating up on the "Brady Bunch."

Few have been able to consistently rattle Brady and his bunch this year.

Then again, there are few like Suh.