New England Patriots Can't Beat the Heat, Get Bullied by Miami Dolphins

The New England Patriots confirmed the skepticism their offense had garnered all offseason, losing Sunday to the Miami Dolphins for a fourth straight time. First-year Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel got the better of Patriots coach Bill Belichick, and the Dolphins cruised to an easy 20-7 victory.

The Patriots couldn't get out of their own way, capping promising drives with turnovers and consistently missing opportunities to close the gap at opportune times. The team had a chance to go into the half only down 10 but allowed a 42-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown on 4th and 7 with 24 seconds on the clock. The Patriots responded with a touchdown in their opening drive of the second half, but those would be their only points in the game. Combine all that with injuries on defense to starting safeties Kyle Dugger and Adrian Phillips, and the Patriots had a regular season opener to forget.

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The Dolphins didn't quite debut the explosive offense fans had been dreaming of all offseason, only managing 307 total yards and a paltry 2.83 yards per rushing attempt. Regardless, a win is a win, and at least the team's big new addition at wide receiver showed promise. Tyreek Hill accounted for 100 yards from scrimmage between catches and rushing attempts and flashed plenty of the exhilarating play-making that made him a star with the Kansas City Chiefs. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa eased off after a promising first half that saw the team go up 17-0, but the defense was the star of the game, suffocating the Patriots all afternoon and forcing three takeaways, including scoring a touchdown on a fumble recovery.

The Patriots will have a chance to bounce back against a Pittsburgh Steelers squad that will likely be without T.J. Watt next week, and the Dolphins will visit the Baltimore Ravens in a game that could be a preview of two eventual AFC playoff teams.

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