The Patriots lost 24-17 to the Miami Dolphins. The game was not as close as the score would indicate as Miami dominated play for most of the game. With the loss, the Patriots drop to 0-2 for the first time since 2001.
Here are seven points on tonight’s game.
1.Mistakes prove to be costly: The Patriots once again shot themselves in the foot in this game and it proved to be the difference. The first two possessions of the game, they moved the ball offensively but penalties and a Demario Douglas fumble ended promising drives. Same thing in the third quarter. The Patriots were driving and Mac Jones threw an interception that ended another drive inside the 30. The inability to play a clean game has been a major problem thus far through two games. It is a big reason for the team’s 0-2 start.
2. Offensive line struggles: Michael Onwenu and Cole Strange returned tonight but it did not matter. The offensive line struggled once again. They were actually better last with two rookies in the line up. The run blocking was bad and the pass protection wasn’t any better as Mac was sacked 3 times and pressured on several other occasions. Adrian Klemm has a lot of work to do with this unit.
3. Mac’s day at the office: Jones completed 31-of-42 passes for 231 yards and two touchdown passes. The interception aside, he played well enough for the Patriots to win this game. Protection was once again an issue and the running game is non-existent right now. The lack of a big play element is also an issue as the Patriots have to drive the ball to score. Mac has played well thus far. He is not the problem and while he always talks about doing more, it is his teammates that need to do more.
4. Defense gives up big plays at inopportune times: The defense did enough to keep the Patriots in the game but they also gave up big plays at inopportune times that proved to be costly. They have played well at times thus far this season but this unit needs to play more consistent football. They set the tone for the team. They were not good enough tonight regardless of what the numbers say.
5. Running game nonexistent: The Patriots rushed for 88 yards as a team. Rhamondre Stevenson had 50 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. Mac was the second leading rusher with 25 yards on five carries, Elliott finished with 13 yards on five carries. The offensive line did not do a good job tonight in the run game so that was part of the problem. The other issue is, the Patriots fall behind in games and abandon the run. Bottom line, the running game is not good enough right now and until it gets better, this offense will be one dimensional.
6. Marcus Jones injured: Jones hurt his shoulder in the second quarter and did not return. We do not want to speculate but judging by the looks of things, Jones could miss some time. Again, it is to early to tell. We will learn more during the week. It is another blow for a secondary that can ill-afford it.
7. Tua’s mastery continues: Tua is now 5-0 in his career against the Patriots. Simply put, he owns them. It is hard to believe when you think about his career thus far, but it also speaks to how good the Dolphins have been since his arrival in Miami.