The New England Patriots opened up their 2022 season with a dud of a performance against the Miami Dolphins. Is it time to panic already? Perhaps asking this question after week one is a bit of a overreaction to some, but I think it is a valid question.
The Patriots were, for the most part, embarrassed on Sunday afternoon in Miami. Rookie head coach Mike McDaniel, leading an offense led by Tua Tagovailoa, convincingly defeated the Patriots. To be fair, the Patriots don’t usually play well in Miami, and some things for them went well, but it was largely a disaster of a day for Bill Belichick’s team.
It wasn’t all bad, though, and it usually never is. The Dolphins weren’t really able to get their rushing attack going, which was an area of needed improvement for the Patriots in 2022. Miami was only able to muster 65 rushing yards, using the Shanahan-style offense that is very well-known for getting to the passer.
Kyle Dugger also had himself a nice game. The third year player is a breakout candidate to watch this year. The Patriots also went 4/9 on third down. That’s a 44% conversion rate, which would have ranked seventh in the NFL in 2021.
As usual, the Patriots stayed disciplined, only committing three penalties. Jakobi Meyers had himself a very nice game as well. Meyers is someone who could flirt with a 1,000 yard receiving season in 2022. The team also notched three sacks.
However, the bad was quite bad. Mac Jones was picked off and the victim of a strip sack early in the game. No one picked up the blitzing defensive back, who stripped Jones, allowing Melvin Ingram to recover and score.
The Patriots’ offense was able to move the ball early on in the game, but managed just 213 passing yards from Mac Jones and only 78 rushing yards. The defense largely held their own, in my opinion. The Dolphins were only able to score one offensive touchdown.
As I’ve said in previous articles, the Patriots’ defense is likely not going to be the problem in 2022, but the offense has already shown their inability to produce on the field. Should be be panicking already?