4 Ups, 4 Downs From Patriots’ Season-Opening Win Over Dolphins

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By Michael Hurley, CBS dangolka

FOXBORO (CBS) — Issues appeared an entire lot totally different inside Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon, aside from the ultimate rating. The Patriots gained — albeit not solely comfortably — a soccer sport over the Dolphins, driving a ground-and-pound offensive assault and developing with three turnovers on protection to start out the season on the proper foot.

The ultimate rating of 21-11 kind of signifies the kind of sport that performed out. And contemplating neither workforce had any preseason motion, and contemplating there have been no followers allowed contained in the stadium, what performed out on the sphere was … kind of consultant of an NFL soccer sport.

For the Patriots, there have been some highs, and there have been some lows. Listed here are the 4 Ups and 4 Downs from the season-opening victory over Miami.

FOUR UPS

Cam Newton

Cam Newton (Photograph by Maddie Meyer/Getty Photos)

Duh.

The brand new QB didn’t appear to be somebody who was feeling any form of strain. As an alternative, he appeared prepared/keen/capable of run the ball by the Miami protection, successful races when wanted and dropping his shoulder when that was the suitable name.

He completed with 75 speeding yards and two touchdowns, and he was extraordinarily correct as a passer. finishing 15 of 19 passes for 155 yards. He would have had a passing landing, however, effectively, we’ll get to that later.

All in all, it was a dynamite debut for the brand new Patriots quarterback.

Josh McDaniels

Cam Newton, Josh McDaniels (Photograph by Maddie Meyer/Getty Photos)

The Patriots performed it cool all summer season lengthy, saying their offense appeared and felt just about the identical because it all the time did. That, after all, was in no way the case, and the offensive coordinator deserves main kudos for reshaping that offense on the fly.

Bear in mind, it wasn’t till the tip of June that Newton entered the image. So McDaniels and the offensive employees — and particularly new offensive line coaches Cole Popovich and Carmen Bricillo — clearly will need to have been working time beyond regulation to get this sport plan prepared for Week 1.

It wasn’t good, clearly, however the Patriots have been wildly efficient on the bottom, speeding for 217 yards and three touchdowns on 42 makes an attempt. With designed runs and choices, it was a wholly new search for a Patriots offense that appeared the identical for a really very long time.

Choose Masters

Stephon Gilmore (Photograph by Maddie Meyer/Getty Photos)

Now and again — like final December, for instance — Ryan Fitzpatrick can beat you. However most of the time, should you sit again and await it to occur, he does have a nasty behavior of simply throwing the entire sport to you.

The latter was in impact on Sunday, with the Patriots coming by with three interceptions. The primary got here from Stephon Gilmore, and the second got here from Adrian Phillips, killing a possible scoring drive for Miami late within the first half. Phillips additionally helped out on the primary one, pressuring Fitzpatrick and resulting in a rushed throw into hassle.

The ultimate one sealed the victory, with J.C. Jackson choosing off Fitzpatrick ultimately zone, ending Miami’s hopes of mounting a livid late comeback.

Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman (Photograph by Maddie Meyer/Getty Photos)

It wasn’t a monster day for the receiver — 5 catches, 57 yards, plus a 23-yard run — however he hit a milestone by hauling in his 600th profession go. He stays second in franchise historical past in that class, and with season, he can take excessive spot, which is at present occupied by Wes Welker, with 672.

EXTRA POINTS

Chase Winovich stepped up with back-to-back performs within the run sport, forcing Miami right into a third-and-long and, finally, a punt. … Derek Rivers delivered a large sack within the fourth quarter, forcing Miami right into a third-and-18. … Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead mixed for 69 yards and a landing on 17 carries, sharing the workload within the backfield. J.J. Taylor additionally made his NFL debut, choosing up 28 yards on 4 carries. … Jermaine Eluemunor crammed in ably at proper sort out, with rookie Mike Onwenu working in for a collection as effectively.

FOUR DOWNS

N’Keal Harry

The second-year receiver thought he was going to attain a landing late within the third quarter. It appeared like he went to achieve the ball throughout the objective line whereas getting tackled by Jerome Baker, however as a substitute of crossing the airplane, Harry misplaced the soccer. It bounced by the tip zone and out of bounds, turning a would-be rating right into a turnover.

Individuals could hate the rule {that a} fumble by the tip zone leads to a touchback … however it’s however a rule. Harry’s mistake took seven factors off the board, and it has usually been the kind of error that results in some prolonged time on the sidelines in the course of the Belichick period.

That play was … it was simply dangerous. And for a younger receiver who was really having a good day (5 receptions, 39 yards), it was an actual souring second.

Nick People

Did Nick People do something to safe his spot because the workforce’s full-time kicker? Not likely. He missed a 45-yard area objective try earlier than halftime, a kick that by no means actually had an opportunity.

Damiere Byrd

Invoice Belichick made it fairly clear that he hopes to restrict Julian Edelman’s workload as a punt returner this 12 months. They gained’t achieve success in that endeavor if his alternative can’t catch punt.

That was Damiere Byrd’s downside, as he muffed the primary punt of the season. After waving for the truthful catch, he allowed the visitors in entrance of his face to distract him sufficient to mishandle the kick. Fortuitously for him, J.C. Jackson was close by and jumped on the free ball to forestall any harm.

Byrd efficiently truthful caught a punt later within the sport, but when it weren’t for Jackson’s restoration, that early miscue would have gotten an entire lot extra consideration.

Foxboro PI

The Patriots could not have agreed with the calls, however the stat sheet doesn’t lie. It exhibits that the Patriots have been hit with three go interference penalties — two on Stephon Gilmore and one on Terrence Brooks. If it weren’t for Fitzpatrick’s penchant for throwing back-breaking picks, we could be taking a look at these penalties a bit in another way.

You possibly can e mail Michael Hurley or discover him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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