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Week 1: Dolphins Lose to the Patriots

The Miami Dolphins lost to the Patriots 11 to 21 today in week 1. The offensive passing game was an overall mess, but there were some positives to take away. The defense played well but still needs some work. Here is a breakdown of some of the mistakes, positives, and negatives of the Dolphins vs Patriots game.

Dolphins Offense Week 1

Dec 29, 2019; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) reacts in front of New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore (24) after making a catch for a first down during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

First off, DeVante Parker left the game with a hamstring injury, which did not help the lack of a passing game. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a poor game at quarterback throwing 191 passing yards, zero touchdowns, and three interceptions. Some of the interceptions were questionable pass interferences, his wide receivers slipping, but in the end, it’s on him. The run game was good for Myles Gaskin (40 rushing yards on 9 carries) and Matt Breida (22 rushing yards on 5 carries). Jordan Howard started the game but was quickly benched after he only has eight carries for nine yards.

For the receivers, the top wide receivers were Parker (4 receptions and 47 yards), Preston Williams (2 receptions and 41 yards), Mike Gesicki (3 receptions and 30 yards), and Gaskin (4 receptions and 26 yards). Overall, the receiving core was getting outmatched by the Patriots secondary. The offensive line played well after they only let up one sack in the entire game. Overall, expect to see Tua Tagovailoa compete for the starting quarterback position and Gaskin to breakout this season. 

Dolphins Defense Week 1

Dec 30, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Jerome Baker (55) reacts to a sack with teammate defensive end Charles Harris (90) against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins had some good tacklers today but did not play well against the run overall. The Dolphins leading tacklers were Jerome Baker (13), Brandon Jones (7), Christian Wilkins (5), and Kyle Van Noy (5). They were unable to stop the run at all as the Patriots ran for 217 rushing yards. On the other hand, they had some huge plays as Baker forced a fumble against N’Keal Harry. The Dolphins only had 2 sacks today, which was one by Baker and one by Wilkins. Overall, the Dolphins defense will have to work to fix the run-stopping problems next week and expect a major role for Brandon Jones.

Dolphins Special Teams

Dec 1, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (right) celebrates after Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders (left) scored a touchdown during the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Sanders was one for one on the night as he kicked one field goal. Matt Haack had three punts today, which had an average of 50.7 yards per punt. His longest was 58 yards. Jakeem Grant had one punt return for negative three yards, which is not good. Overall, good game by the kicking team, but returning needs to get better

In conclusion, the Dolphins defense played alright, but the offense needs to improve. They need to lower the number of turnovers, while the defense has to do better against the run. We could potentially see Tua Tagovailoa come into week two of the regular season, but we will have to wait and see. 

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