New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins Week 1 Recap
What typically can go wrong for the New England Patriots in Miami recently has. This weekend was no different, as there weren’t many positive takeaways from the Patriots. There was the opening offensive drive before an interception, the defense, for the most part, Kyle Dugger, and that’s just about it.
Bill Belichick chose to call this bout with the Dolphins an “even game”, mentioning the Jaylen Waddle touchdown and scoop and score for Miami skewing things. That is certainly one way of looking at it. The Waddle score could be attributed in part to Adrian Phillips getting hurt the play prior. Certainly not great given it was on a 4th and long late in the half, but that forced Dugger into Phillip’s spot on that play.
However, the scoop and score specifically was a microcosm of the offensive line all day; Ill prepared and unorganized. Probably doesn’t help that the offensive coordinator is doubling up as an offensive line coach. Nor was it a great look that Trent Brown declined to speak to reporters postgame.
Another oddity was the usage of Kendrick Bourne, who was more-or-less benched for the first 55 minutes of the game. The first and only ball he saw his way went for 40-plus yards, which put him second on the team in total receiving yards. Despite Belichick claiming this isn’t a disciplinary measure, it’s very hard to justify one of last year’s best pass catchers being a near non-factor. Postgame, he simply said he is ready for whenever his number gets called.
Now onto Mac Jones, who now opens up 0-3 in his career against Miami. Although his first drive ended with a turnover, hard to put that on him. Xavien Howard was shown to be very grabby with Devante Parker, which led to a tip and pick by Jevon Holland.
Outside of a touchdown pass to Ty Montgomery in the third quarter, this was a day to forget. One that ended with a trip to the X-Ray room in Hard Rock Stadium due to a back issue. The good news is the scans came back negative, but this will be worth monitoring for the next several weeks.
Kyle Dugger was the standout performer of the day. He is nothing short of a wrecking back at and around the line of scrimmage.
Jonnu Smith was being used much better than he was a season ago, much to the chagrin of a certain Las Vegas Raiders head coach.
Jakobi Meyers is going to make himself a lot of money this off-season. Catches like this do nothing but help his cause.
Next up is a date with the Pittsburgh Steelers, whom the Patriots have dominated in the win column dating back to the mid-1990s. Although they managed to upset the reigning AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals in their yard, it came at a steep price. Reigning defensive player of the year T.J. Watt suffered what is feared to be a torn pectoral muscle in the fourth quarter of that game. If that is the case, his season is most likely over. Running back Najee Harris also left with an ankle injury; however, the team doesn’t believe it is serious as of now.
Despite coming away with a win, the Mitch Trubisky-led Steelers offense left plenty of points on the board, off the back of five forced turnovers by the defense. Additionally, the run game wasn’t much of a factor for Pittsburgh either. In short, both teams’ offenses are a work in progress at this stage. This would be a great time however for this Patriots’ offense to get in gear and realize this isn’t the preseason anymore. That doesn’t just go for the players, but coaches as well.