Things we discovered in Miami Dolphins’ 20-7 win over the New England Patriots


The Dolphins handled New England fairly easily in Sunday’s season opener at Hard Rock Stadium, additional elevating expectations for the season. Coach Mike McDaniel, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, and large receiver Tyreek Hill, those who induced essentially the most curiosity coming in, have been all good.

The Dolphins confirmed resilience and high quality depth at instances, the latter within the secondary and offensive line, and controlled the game the entire day. It was a powerful displaying and perhaps a sign of things to come.

Here are some extra takeaways from the season opener towards the Patriots:

Dolphins rookie coach Mike McDaniel had a great debut

His gamers have been ready, and infrequently appeared stunned by something thrown their manner from New England coach Bill Belichick, identified for his gameday trickery. McDaniel, who was calling performs for the primary time, confirmed variety and creativity. The second wasn’t too massive for McDaniel and that bodes properly for the season. — Chris Perkins

Dolphins have now received 4 consecutive video games over New England, and 5 of the previous six

In different phrases, the Dolphins have owned the Patriots just lately. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is now 4-0 towards Belichick. There was no proof that Belichick helped his group by practising at Palm Beach Atlantic University since Wednesday, or that he damage his group by having Matt Patricia and Joe Judge splitting offensive coordinator duties.

Patriots went at nickel/slot defensive again Nik Needham on the sport’s first play and obtained a 9-yard acquire

But it was the final time it occurred that manner. Miami’s defensive again depth answered the decision, which is spectacular contemplating it was with out beginning cornerback Byron Jones (leg), backup cornerback Noah Igbinoghene (inactive) and security Eric Rowe (inactive). Rookie cornerback Kader Kohou made his debut and had a deal with and a giant fumble-causing hit. Overall it was a pleasant displaying for the secondary. New England quarterback Mac Jones ended with a innocent 21 for 30 for 213 yards, one landing and one interception.

Miami’s playmaking protection answered the decision

New England discovered a tough lesson by throwing at All Pro cornerback Xavien Howard ultimately zone within the first quarter. Howard tipped the move within the air and security Jevon Holland caught it and returned it 31 yards to the Dolphins’ 28-yard line. In the fourth quarter Kohou had a success that induced a fumble and linebacker Jaelan Phillips recovered. Miami completed with one interception, two recovered fumbles, two sacks, six passes defended, 4 tackles for loss, and three quarterback hits.

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, 23 for 33, 270 yards, one landing, no interceptions (104.4 passer score) was principally good all day when it got here to decision-making, accuracy and endurance

It was principally a brief and intermediate passing recreation, which is ok. The key’s Tagovailoa got the ball to wide receivers Hill and Jaylen Waddle in locations the place they might get YAC (yards after catch). Tagovailoa didn’t throw deep usually however he went deep to fullback Alec Ingold within the first quarter. The ball was barely overthrown however Hill seemed to be double lined. It was a sensible choice by Tagovailoa to acknowledge the protection matchup and go for it.

Safety Jevon Holland was deep to return the 2 first half punts for the Dolphins

The first was a good catch on the 6-yard line and the second was downed on the 8-yard line by New England particular groups ace Matthew Slater. During the follow week McDaniel stated he wouldn’t hesitate to make use of large receivers Hill and/or Waddle as punt returner. Running again Raheem Mostert was deep for the Dolphins’ solely kickoff return. By the best way, credit score punter Thomas Morstead for field-flipping punts, three of which have been contained in the 20-yard line. He averaged 45.8 yards per punt and his longest was 58 yards. The Dolphins’ particular groups had a great day.

The offensive line had a promising displaying

Right deal with Austin Jackson went down with an ankle damage early within the second quarter and was changed by Greg Little. Then within the third quarter Little went down. Miami shifted proper guard Robert Hunt to proper deal with and inserted Robert Jones at proper guard. Little returned within the third quarter. But within the fourth quarter left deal with Terron Armstead was sidelined and left guard Liam Eichenberg took his place. The offensive line confirmed good versatility and depth in all conditions. But the offensive line allowed three sacks and the run recreation was sluggish so there are areas for rapid enchancment. But general it was a great begin.

Dolphins’ protection did properly at limiting vital performs, however two self-inflicted errors led to a Patriots landing within the third quarter

The Dolphins had 12 males on discipline penalty on second-and-4, giving New England a primary down on the Dolphins’ 37-yard line. Four performs afterward fourth-and-1, Howard was referred to as for unlawful contact on an incomplete move. New England scored 5 performs later to chop its deficit to 17-7. Overall, nevertheless, the protection was strong in execution and self-discipline.

Miami’s speeding offense didn’t floor a lot Sunday

The Dolphins completed with 65 yards on 23 carries. Chase Edmonds had 12 carries for 25 yards and Mostert had 5 carries for 16 yards. Coach McDaniel places an emphasis on the run recreation so maybe there shall be tweaks earlier than subsequent week’s recreation at Baltimore.

Patriots followers are often loud and proud at Hard Rock Stadium, however that didn’t appear to be the case Sunday

The Dolphins, in fact, have offered out their season ticket allotment for the primary time, and that may be an element, But Patriots followers appeared to have a smaller presence than in recent times they usually undoubtedly weren’t loud. Good job by the Dolphins, and Dolphins followers.

Tua Tagovailoa went to a really defense-aided 4-0 towards the Patriots

In his 4 video games towards Belichick and the Patriots, Tagovailoa has by no means misplaced, however his offense’s scoring output has been meager, with solely 18.0 factors a recreation. Meanwhile, the protection in these video games has held New England to a paltry 14.8 factors a recreation, and has added two touchdowns of their very own. — Steve Svekis

Mike Gesicki hasn’t produced at practically the identical stage since his 2020 shoulder damage

The Dolphins tight finish/large receiver remains to be making an attempt to get again to the extent of manufacturing he had established late within the 2020 season, when he sustained a ugly-looking shoulder damage in Miami’s 33-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 13, 2020. In the 19 video games he had performed up till the play, which compelled him to overlook the next week’s recreation, Gesicki had pulled in 11 touchdowns and averaged a strong 13.10 yards per reception (878 in 67 catches). However, within the 20 video games afterward, Miami’s franchise-tag participant has discovered the top zone solely two instances and seen his per-catch common plummet to a pedestrian 10.63 yards (882 yards in 83 receptions)

Mac Jones’ pricey turnover points preserve constructing at Hard Rock Stadium

In his previous 17 video games, the Patriots’ Mac Jones has 20 turnovers (consists of first two in opener), however that quantity is way worse even at Hard Rock Stadium. In his two profession video games in Miami Gardens, Jones has 4 turnovers, two of them for Dolphins touchdowns, and one other taking place with the Patriots in discipline aim vary.

Miami retains doing its half to maintain Belichick’s street to catching Don Shula as rocky as doable

The loss made Belichick 2-8 the previous decade in Miami Gardens, and retains the six-time Super Bowl champion coach 26 wins from tying Don Shula atop the all-time wins listing.

On deck: At Baltimore Ravens, M&T Bank Stadium, Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Dolphins head to a franchise home of horrors for Week 2. Miami is 0-4 all-time at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium, and the outcomes haven’t been shut, getting progressively worse in every matchup (dropping by seven in 2005, 16 in 2010, 32 in 2016 and 40 in 2017). The one silver lining is that Brian Flores’ protection gained a bunch of confidence final season when it locked down then-MVP candidate Lamar Jackson and the Ravens to 10 factors, whereas tacking on a Howard pick-six, as Miami received by 12 factors for the second straight win in what would develop to a seven-game win streak.

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