FOXBORO, MA – The New England Patriots with their new Quarterback Cam Newton took down the Miami Dolphins 21-11 in the first game of the 2020 NFL Season for both teams.
In this new “bizarro world” NFL season with no fans and wearing masks for staff is encouraged, both teams came out full force as if they weren’t bothered.
Mostly, the rust and errors came through limited practice time and the lack of pre-season tune-up games and started right in the fire with game 1.
The Patriots didn’t seem t be phased by the different atmosphere in the stadium and came out ready to work.
This was a big day for the Patriots as it was the start of a new era after the departure of legendary QB Tom Brady. This was the start of the Cam Newton era.
Newton came out fine, making most of his moves on the ground. Thought he went 15 for 19 with only 155 yards in the air, he ran for 75 yards and scored two touchdowns on the ground himself. Not bad for the former NFL MVP who’s been out for a year.
”It was relatively picking up right where I remember the game to be,” said Newton, played for the first time in more than a year. ”I think it was just a feeling-through process as well with (offensive coordinator) Josh (McDaniels), coach Bill (Belichick), as well as (quarterbacks coach) Jedd (Fisch) to understand what they have. … We made the adjustments and we executed.”
The Dolphins, lead by Ryan Fitzpatrick, had a rough day, with three interceptions and were missing a key part of their offense for a good part of the game with the loss of WR DeVante Parker in the third quarter with a hamstring injury.
”I felt up front we played well,” Fitzpatrick said. ”I have to play better in my part.”
Ryan Fitzpatrick was 20 of 30 for 191 yards and three interceptions. Miami was held to 269 total yards.
The Dolphins did manage to keep New England to 357 total yards, but that can be debated as possibly because of Newton getting used to the new system.
Newton broke the scoring ice with a 4-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, giving the Pats a 7-0 lead.
Miami countered and got on the board later in the quarter with a 46 yard field goal by Jason Sanders to bring the score to 7-3.
Newton did it again early in the third quarter with a diving score that, i’m sure made the Patriots coaches a little nervous, for a 14-3 score.
Jerome Baker kept the Dolphins in the game, stripping N’Keal Harry inside the 5-yard line, causing a fumble through the end zone for a touchback.
Miami then cut New England’s lead to 14-11 in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard TD run by Jordan Howard and 2-point conversion run by Fitzpatrick with 10:31 left.
New England went to work, with a 23 yard Edelman run plus a 15-yard penalty on Baker to the Miami 40. Newton took New England down to the one on a run, where Sony Michel went over the top for the score afterwards making if 21-11.
The game ended with toe Fitzpatrick interceptions, one in the end zone by J.C. Jackson, and the second by reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore.
‘Just too many turnovers at the end of the day,” coach Brian Flores said.
After the game, there was some pushing and shoving between Newton and some of the Dolphins players. After being pulled away, Newton was visibly upset, and he reveled later why.
Newton claimed that Dolphins players tried to snatch the chains off of his neck, and it took him a while to calm down.
As Promised, the Dolphins remained in their locker rom as “Lift Every Voice And Sing” was performed via video by Alecia Keys as well s the national anthem as promised in a video that they released late last week.
Patriots players and staff, including team owner Robert Kraft, lined up in the end zone and stood together as a video rendition of the song by Alicia Keys played on the stadium video board as part of a league-wide nod to the social justice movement taking place across the country. The Patriots stood together on the sideline during the national anthem, many with their hands over their hearts.
Miami is home against Buffalo next week, while, New England travels to face Seattle next Sunday night.