The Patriots looked a whole lot different in their 21-11 win over the Miami Dolphins. Lots of attention surrounded the Pats offense as this was the first game since 1999 that Tom Brady was not on the roster. From Cam’s yellow pregame suit to the last play of the game, the Patriots were looking good.
Cam Newton was extremely impressive in his first game as a New England Patriot. He threw for 155 yards and ran for 75 yards and two touchdowns. His two rushing touchdowns were designed QB keepers, one from four yards out and another from 11.
Most of his pass attempts were off play-action and he was accurate, showing good chemistry with his receivers. The Bill-Cam love affair is only growing and a fist bump between Cam and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels shows the relationship they have had already. Isn’t he fun to watch play football?
The Patriots ran the ball 42 times, with six different players getting a carry. All six of those rushers had over 20 yards, including undrafted free agent rookie J.J. Taylor. The 5’6”, 185-pound rookie looked really good in his debut. He ran hard and downhill, finishing runs lowering his shoulder. Sony Michel also had a good game. The running back scored the third touchdown of the game for the Pats, a score that put the game out of reach.
It was clear what the Patriots are trying to do this season, bully you, and take the time of possession battle. The Patriots had the ball for 34:49 compared to 25:11 for the Dolphins.
The Pats secondary has three picks against Ryan Fitzpatrick. Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, and newcomer Adrian Phillips all took one away.
Also, second-year corner Joejuan Williams looked very impressive covering tight ends. He went up against the Dolphins’ tight end Mike Gesicki and held him to 3 catches for 30 yards on five targets. The Patriots secondary is definitely the strength of the squad, with Jonathan Jones, and the McCourty twins on top of everyone else previously mentioned.
Kicker Issues Persisting
New England drafted kicker Justin Rohrwasser this offseason and signed Nick Folk late on in training camp. Folk was with the team last year and replaced Stephen Gostkowski. He went 14-17 last season but looked shaky yesterday. He went 3-3 on extra points but missed a 45-yard field goal at the end of the first half which was a really bad ball. Folk won the offseason competition and was elevated from the practice squad before this game, but the competition is back on after this outing.
The Patriots take on the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle on Sunday night in week two. The Dolphins have improved from last season, but this will be the first test for the new look Patriots. Before the season, it seemed like a lot of people were out on the Pats, but there was a lot to like yesterday. Replacing the GOAT with Superman is looking good so far, on to Seattle.