On the weekend when the Patriots unveiled their sixth championship banner, they looked right on their way towards a seventh. However down in Miami, it was a rude awakening for Brian Flores and his team. Today I’ll be recapping both the Patriots and the Dolphins opening games of the season. If you are a supporter of either the Jets or Bills, then look to my fellow writer Max Hillman who will be recapping your week 1 games soon.
Patriots punish Steelers.
New England breezed through this game, looking as if they hadn’t missed a beat since last season. With the acquisition of Antonio Brown dominating the headlines coming into the game. It the Patriots’ other receivers who were dominating in this game. Former league outcast Josh Gordon had 3 catches for 73 and a touchdown and wasn’t even the best receiver in this game. That accolade goes to Phillip Dorsett who caught 4 passes for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns; despite last season only having 3 touchdowns. With Julian Edelman also looking strong, where Antonio Brown will feature is anyone’s guess.
On defence, it was the Patriots’ secondary that put on a great performance. They held the Steelers without a third-down conversion till under 4 minutes left of the first half! By then New England was up 17-0 and in complete control. New England held Ju-Ju Smith Schuster in check all night, forcing Ben Roethlisberger to look for Ryan Switzer and Diontae Johnson for big plays. This was a great game for a defence looking to cement itself as one of the best in the league.
Tom Brady looked ageless all night, showing the kind of pocket presence that leads me to believe he’s allergic to pressure as he was only sacked once. He passed Vinny Testaverde for the most passing yards in a game by a quarterback 42 years or older in the super bowl era with 341. This win once again cemented the lack of rivalry between Pittsburgh and New England as Tom Brady is now 5-0 against the Steelers after their 33-3 win. This was a great statement win for the Patriots to kick off their season with.
It was an abysmal week 1 showing by the Dolphins. From the get-go, Miami was completely outmatched and outclassed by the Ravens. In every facet of the game, they lost every single time. Nobody coming out of this game should be proud of their performance, it was a scary indicator to the fans how easily Miami was beaten at home on opening day. That this might be a trend for the whole season.
With Ryan Fitzpatrick winning the starting quarterback job ahead of Josh Rosen in the offseason. It was expected that Fitz-Magic would rain down upon in week 1 like it had done so last season. However, Fitzpatrick looked horrible, he was constantly battling pressure behind an offensive line weaker than paper mache kitten. While having to force throws to receivers who couldn’t get open. Fitzpatrick only completed 14 passes, threw an interception and was benched for Rosen in the third quarter.
On defence, it wasn’t any better for the Dolphins, who made the 2019 Ravens look like the 1984 Dolphins. Baltimore had 643 total yards, 31 first downs and 59 points. It was men against figurines at times in Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, with Marquise Brown running wide open for two touchdowns on his NFL debut. The Ravens had 378 passing yards but almost more impressively had 265 rushing yards, averaging 8.8 yards per play. Miami’s defence supposedly Brian Flores’s strong suit needs to change fast or else they’ll dragging this team to the number one overall pick.
Image from www.sctimes.com
Alex Riley is a 49ers fan who’s followed the game since 2010, He’s currently at the University of Leicester. You can find him on Twitter at @NFLRiley and his blog at www.rileynfl.wordpress.com