Start game day by reading through this thorough preview of New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins.
The New England Patriots started their 2016 season with an impressive opening week victory over the Arizona Cardinals. The Patriots rode an impressive first start by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, a strong defense and the strong leg of kicker Stephen Gostkowski to hold on for a dramatic 23-21 win.
Perhaps most impressively, the Patriots were without longtime starters quarterback Tom Brady and defensive end Rob Ninkovich due to their four game suspensions. They were without All Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski, starting left tackle Nate Solder, and expected starting guard Jonathan Cooper. Despite missing these five key starters the Patriots were able to get the job done with the next man stepping up.
The Miami Dolphins lost a heartbreaker to the Seattle Seahawks after doing enough to win for the first 56 minutes on Sunday on the road. The Dolphins defense was strong (particularly in the front seven) generating pressure with just four rushers allowing seven defenders to drop into coverage. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill led the team on a potential game winning drive to take the lead to see the defense allow Seattle’s Russell Wilson convert two fourth downs and get into the end zone and win 12-10.
For the Dolphins, opening on the road with two games against Seattle and New England is a brutal start to the season. For New England, they have to wash away their week 17 nightmare against Miami which cost them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs last year. A win in that game would have had New England playing Pittsburgh in the Divisional round and hosting Denver (or Kansas City) at home for the AFC Championship game.
Let’s get right into the preview with what to watch for on both sides of the ball on Sunday afternoon in Foxboro, MA: