New England Patriots

  • Multiple turnovers and poor situational football were too much to overcome for the Patriots on Sunday, as they dropped their season opener 20-7 to the Dolphins in Miami. It’s the first time the Patriots have lost back-to-back season openers since 2001.

    It was the offense that came up short more often than not. They totaled just 271 yards of offense went 4-for-10 on third and fourth down conversions, and perhaps most costly turned the ball over three times which resulted in 10 Miami points.

    On what started as a promising first drive, the Patriots moved the ball 53 yards in seven plays, picking up four first downs without ever reaching third down. However, that drive was halted early when Mac Jones was intercepted on a tip-drill play where it looked like DeVante Parker may have been held.

    The Patriots nearly had the Dolphins stopped early on the ensuing drive, but Carl Davis jumped offsides on a 4th & 1. That extended the possession for a bit, but a Deatrich Wise third down sack a few plays later forced Miami to kick a field goal.

    A strong start on the Patriots’ second drive again didn’t amount to points, as a blocking miscommunication forced the team to punt from around midfield early in the second quarter. After Miami punted back, Jones got strip-sacked on a blitz from safety Brandon Jones, and Melvin Ingram recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown to make it a 10-0 game.

    Another punt ended the Patriots’ next drive, giving the Dolphins the ball with four minutes to go in the half. That turned into a four minute drill, capped by Tua Tagovailoa finding Jaylen Waddle on a 4th & 7 for a catch-and-run touchdown with 18 seconds left. That gave Miami a 17-0 lead heading into the half.

    To start the second half, the Patriots’ defense forced a three-and-out. The offense then showed some real momentum, driving 92 yards in 15 plays for the first score of the game, which was a Jones touchdown pass to Ty Montgomery in the flat. Miami answered with a field goal to make it 20-7 at the end of the third quarter.

  • The fourth quarter began with dueling punts from the Patriots and Dolphins. On the third drive of the quarter the Patriots reached midfield, but couldn’t convert a 4th & 3 when they attempted a deep pass to Hunter Henry in triple coverage.

    Despite the defense continuing to step up, the offense couldn’t carry over the complimentary football. After another Dolphins punt, Nelson Agholor fumbled just over midfield, giving the Dolphins back the ball with just under five minutes to go. The Patriots wouldn’t get the ball back , as Miami ran the clock out from there.

    Jones finished the game 21-of-30 for 213 yards with a touchdown and interception. Damien Harris carries the ball nine times for 48 yards, and Jakobi Meyers was the Patriots’ leading receiver with four catches for 55 yards.

    Ja’Whaun Bentley led the Patriots’ defense with seven tackles and a sack. Matthew Judon and Deatrich Wise also recorded sacks. Wise and Jonathan Jones forced fumbles.

    The Patriots will be back on the road next week, taking on the Steelers in Pittsburgh. That game kicks off at 1 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning at 10 on 98.5 The Sports Hub and the Patriots Radio Network.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.