Week 1 Preview: Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots

The New England Patriots visit the Miami Dolphins in a pivotal AFC East tilt in Week 1 of the regular season this Sunday. The teams recently met in their final game of last year's regular season, a 33-24 win for Miami that saw the team score a pair of defensive touchdowns on an interception return and a fumble return. The Dolphins are 3.5-point favorites to continue their recent streak of success over the Patriots.

The New England Patriots are hoping to reverse a troubling trend in their trips to South Florida; the team has won two of their last seven games in Miami. The Patriots even left their home in Foxborough early this week to better acclimate themselves to the oppressive Florida heat by holding practices just north of Miami. As the Buffalo Bills seem to strengthen their hold on the division crown, the Patriots will need to do everything they can do to avoid being swept again by Miami, who took both games last year.
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Meanwhile, the Miami Dolphins are looking to debut a new-look offense under first-year head coach Mike McDaniel that includes a pair of massive additions in wide receiver Tyreek Hill and offensive tackle Terron Armstead. Hill has already flashed chemistry with embattled quarterback Tua Tagovailoa after the Dolphins paid a massive price to draw him away from the Kansas City Chiefs, and the hope is Armstead can solidify an offensive line that ranked last in the league last season according to Pro Football Focus. Entering his third year and surrounded by new talent, Tagovailoa has a chance to finally entrench himself as the team's quarterback of the future after two middling seasons.

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones showed more promise in his rookie season last year than Tagovailoa has in either of his, but whispers of a struggling offense have many wondering if regression is coming for the second-year quarterback. The Patriots finished an impressive sixth overall in scoring last year, but with long-time offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels taking over the head coaching job in Las Vegas, questions remain whether Patriots coach Bill Belichick has positioned his second-year signal-caller to succeed.

The Miami Dolphins host the New England Patriots this Sunday in their regular season opener.
Photo Credit: © Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports