Week 1 Review: New England Patriots Win Against Miami Dolphins

Week 1 of the NFL regular season is officially in the books. Unsurprisingly, the New England Patriots defeated their AFC East rival, the Miami Dolphins, 21-11, improving the Patriots’ all-time record against the Dolphins to 54-56 in the regular season.

SCORING RECAP

Second Quarter:

In his New England debut, Cam Newton’s four-yard TD run capped off an 11-play, 80-yard drive to open the scoring. Ryan Fitzpatrick then responded for Miami, orchestrating a 59-yard march to put kicker Jason Sanders in range for a 46-yard field goal to close the margin, ending the half with a 7-3 score in favor of the Patriots.

Third Quarter:

Unable to find an open receiver in the end zone, Newton notched his second score of the day on an 11-yard QB keeper to close a short 8-play, 75-yard drive that widened the gap for the Patriots, going up 14-3.

Fourth Quarter:

Fitzpatrick attempted more “Fitzmagic,” handing the ball to RB Jordan Howard on a one-yard score followed by his own QB keeper on the subsequent two-point conversion.

Miami’s 14-11 deficit would be short-lived, as Patriots RB Sony Michel’s own one-yard TD would be the eventual game-winner for New England.

FINAL SCORE: PATRIOTS 21, DOLPHINS 11

THE GOOD

Cam Newton’s final stat line proved he was the X-factor for New England’s offense. Newton went 15-of-19 for 155 yards alongside 15 carries for 75 yards and two touchdowns, ultimately being the deciding factor in the Patriots’ victory.  

New England’s defense held Miami to 278 combined yards (191 passing, 87 rushing), allowing only 11 points while snagging three interceptions from three different players.

Undrafted rookie free-agent J.J. Taylor looked solid in a limited role, racking up 28 yards on the ground on only four carries.

CB JoeJuan Williams made a great third-down play in the third quarter to end a Dolphins drive, and contributed to an interception by J.C. Jackson with his physicality in the end zone.

THE BAD

Nick Folk. Can we please get a kicker who can make routine field goals? I feel like this team has missed more field goals in the past season than my entire lifetime as a Patriots fan.

N’Keal Harry had a decent game (5 catches for 39 yards), but you absolutely cannot fumble on the 1-yard line and let the ball bounce out of the end zone to give possession to Miami. Just go down and live to fight another day.

P.S. Don’t try to swipe Cam Newton’s chain.

NOTEWORTHY MOMENTS

In the second quarter, WR Julian Edelman caught his 600th career catch, and is now second all-time in New England franchise history, behind former Patriots and Dolphins receiver Wes Welker (672).

Cam Newton’s second rushing score of the day marked his 60th career rushing touchdown.

CONCLUSION

This was a good win for the New England Patriots.

Considering how short of a time Cam Newton had to learn this offense, he seemed comfortable. This win should build confidence in that locker room, that this team can still win football games. Next week, a real challenger looms in the Seattle Seahawks.

(Featured Image Credit: Steven Senne for AP Photo / Patriots.com)

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