The Patriots went down to Miami on Sunday afternoon and just got their teeth completely kicked in by the Dolphins. The final score was 20-7, and New England fell to 0-1 to start the 2022 regular season. I wish I had something good to say, but it was that bad.
Here’s an outline of the scoring drives from the afternoon:
Dolphins 3 – Patriots 0 | 11 plays, 47 yards – Jason Sanders 43-yard FG
Dolphins 10 – Patriots 0 | 2 plays, -13 yards – Melvin Ingram FR TD
Dolphins 17 – Patriots 0 | 10 plays, 92 yards – Jaylen Waddle 42-yard TD
Dolphins 17 – Patriots 7 | 15 plays, 92 yards – Ty Montgomery 6-yard TD
Dolphins 20 – Patriots 7 | 8 plays, 50 yards – Jason Sanders 49-yard FG
Like I said, a very bad start for the Patriots in 2022. Here are my five takeaways from this afternoon’s disaster:
5. If they don’t make an adjustment, the offense is going to struggle all season long.
New England was shut out in the first half of a season opener for the first time since 2003 – and despite finally finding the end zone, things didn’t get any better in the second half.
The play calling was poor, the blocking wasn’t any better, and Mac Jones looked uncomfortable with his surroundings all day. Whether it comes to scheme, play calling, or talent – something’s gotta change.
4. Kyle Dugger is a beast in the box and a liability in coverage.
Just about every time the Dolphins got the ball into Tyreek Hill’s hands, Kyle Dugger was there to tackle him. The third year safety out of Lenoir-Rhyne led the Patriots with six tackles on the day and accompanied that with two tackles for loss as well. he looked like a linebacker out there.
Unfortunately, he looked like a linebacker when trying to cover wide receivers as well. He was very poor in the back end, and was a main culprit in the Jaylen Waddle touchdown at the end of the second half.
3. Kendrick Bourne barely plays on offense.
Kendrick Bourne, New England’s second leading receiver a season ago, saw very minimal time on Sunday. Despite being a part of the team’s active 46 players, the Pats decided not to use him – instead opting for Lil’Jordan Humphrey as their fourth receiver behind Parker, Meyers, and Agholor.
Realistically, the absence of Bourne shouldn’t be much of a surprise. The sixth year wide receiver has really fallen out of the Pats offensive plans over the last several weeks, being benched in the preseason and a centerpiece in trade rumors.
2. Mac Jones is regressing right before our eyes
The Patriots second year quarterback looked like a shell of himself today compared to the QB we saw a season ago. Jones went 21-30 passing for 1 TD, 1 INT, and a fumble that was recovered for a touchdown.
I have a hard time putting all of the blame on Jones, as his supporting cast is not “supporting” at all – but he missed some key throws and blitz pickups that ultimately led to the loss on Sunday.
1. Mac’s still better than Tua
Despite Jones not playing well (at all) on Sunday, Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa didn’t impress me either. He had a relatively pedestrian game, going 23-33 for 270 yards and a TD.
This was better than the Tua we’ve seen in the past, but he still missed some very bad throws that could have been monumental mistakes if they weren’t against the dumpster New England Patriots. The flyin’ Hawaiin will have to continue to improve if he wants to be Miami’s QB beyond this season.
New England will watch the film and patch up their wrongs prior to heading to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers next Sunday.
With the Steelers working on getting their footing as well, next week should be interesting. We’ll have you covered here on CLNSMedia.com for all of it.
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