I can’t believe I’m about to say this. But football season is almost here! Thursday night kicks off the season with Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans taking on Patrick Mahomes and the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs. As cool as that is, my focus is strictly on Sunday at 1:00 PM EST. That’s when the New England Patriots will be kicking off their season at Gillette against the Miami Dolphins. But before you get your Sunday food ready and your favorite jersey on, let’s preview this game a little bit.
A Revamped Miami Dolphins Squad
We have to remember that the Miami Dolphins had one of the worst defenses in the NFL in 2019. But boy did they go out and get some reinforcements this offseason! They secured Byron Jones as well as former Patriots Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts. Oh, and Van Noy/Roberts are defensive captains for the Dolphins this year.
Joins other ex-Pats Kyle Van Noy and Ted Karras as captains in Miami. https://t.co/0hpOy9C1Ix
— Bob Socci (@BobSocci) September 7, 2020
Brian Flores is looking to turn a corner in 2020 after a 5-11 record last season. The new pieces in place should be a huge help.
Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Cam Newton
We now know who the starting quarterbacks will be for Sunday’s AFC East matchup. The Dolphins gave veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick the call over rookie Tua Tagovailoa.
Ryan Fitzpatrick officially named the Dolphins’ Week 1 starting QB at New England.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 7, 2020
Cam Newton was named starting quarterback AND a team captain last week.
— NFL (@NFL) September 3, 2020
𝟮 𝟬 𝟮 𝟬 𝗣 𝗔 𝗧 𝗥 𝗜 𝗢 𝗧 𝗦 𝗖 𝗔 𝗣 𝗧 𝗔 𝗜 𝗡 𝗦 pic.twitter.com/Hyvc7QzPEW
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 3, 2020
So it’s a question of which QB’s we’ll see this Sunday. Will we see the Ryan Fitzpatrick that makes a ton of mistakes? Do we see the Fitzpatrick that stunned the Patriots in the final regular season game of 2019 in Gillette Stadium? Also, which Cam Newton do we see? Do we see the glimpses of the 2015 MVP? Or do we get more of the QB that struggled during 2016-2017 and threw almost as many interceptions as touchdown passes? It’s going to be quite the dogfight.
Belichick Against Flores
Bill Belichick is coaching for the first time in 20 years without Tom Brady under center. Brian Flores has some talent on his roster now. Will the guru have his way in the first game of the season? Or does Flores go in (again!) and shock the Patriots? Either way, it’ll be interesting to see the gameplay each coach goes in with. With Bill Belichick, you have to figure he’s going to utilize Newton’s speed and athleticism. For Flores, maybe they stuff the run down the Patriots throat with a younger and worse off front seven. Similar to what Tennessee did to the Patriots with Derrick Henry in the wild card game last season. This should be a great coaching battle for sure.
Football is so close, I can taste it. The Dolphins spoiled the Patriots ideal playoff scenario last January. You have to think the Patriots will have revenge on their mind a bit. Plus, the Patriots will be seen as the underdogs all season long. What better way to start off the post-Brady era than with a win in Gillette? Get me to Sunday!
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-Al Nahigian (@BigAl2793)
Feat. image courtesy of gillettestadium.com/