2020 Week 1 Analysis: Dolphins @ Patriots (By Ross Jacobs)
-Finally the glorious debut of the all-mighty Cam Newton, and he looked...pretty good honestly. I have to admit I was a bit surprised, but I guess I shouldn't be considering Belichick is still running the show. Many coaches would have jammed Newton into their existing system and expected him to pick it up but not Belichick. He tailors his systems to his players, and it shows. Newton looked very comfortable running concepts he's familiar with from his time in Auburn and Carolina. They didn't ask him to do too much, just control the game and keep the sticks moving. Most importantly of all he finally looks healthy. I don't think this is the game-breaking Cam of 2015, but he's more than serviceable.
-New England isn't going to be lighting up scoreboards this year however. This team is going to look more like the Patriots of the early 2000's. Run the ball, control the clock, and play sound defense. They are going to be the more disciplined team and wait for the opponent to make mistakes. I doubt we see 12+ wins, but 10 and a return to the playoffs is very much in the cards. They are not going to be an easy opponent that's for sure.
-The defense looked surprisingly good as well considering all their losses. Very few teams could handle the loss of their entire starting linebacking corp and keep on rolling, but it speaks to the scouting and development of this team that they can. Again I didn't see anything eye-popping or special about the defense. Just good, sound, disciplined football.
-The Dolphins also played in this game although you'd barely know it. The media really seems to love Brian Flores for some reason, but I haven't seen anything from this Dolphins team to suggest they are ever going to be good.
-Ryan Fitzpatrick may be an incredible leader but he was terrible here. Fitz has always been quite erratic with his play, one week lighting up the scoreboard with bomb after bomb, and the next tossing 4 interceptions. It may not be long before we see rookie first round QB Tua Tagovailoa.
-Not sure what Miami was thinking by giving Myles Gaskin the ball so much, but that is a recipe for going nowhere. Jordan Howard and Matt Breida are the superior backs, and Breida especially looked very fast and explosive here. He needs more touches.
-I'm not sure if Miami knows it yet, but Preston Williams is their best WR. Belichick sure does because he had the league's best CB Stephon Gilmore locked up on Williams all night, and it was everything Gilmore could do to contain him. Knowing this Dolphins coaching staff though they'll go right back to chucking jump balls to DeVante Parker as soon as they can.
-Tough to say anything much about the Miami defense. They played hard but just didn't seem to have a plan for Cam running the ball. New England did a good job of forcing the Miami defenders to choose between stopping Newton or another option. I think this Miami defense will be fine but nothing special.
-Overall I'd say Miami is an average or slightly below average team, and the Patriots are a playoff team but certainly not a favorite. They'll have to get past the Chiefs and Ravens again if they want a crack at another Superbowl.
-There's only two Patriots players worth rostering and that's Newton and Julian Edelman. Cam is going to siphon off too many rushing yards and TD's for any RB to be viable, and Edelman is likely a WR2 or so. He's safe points but doesn't have a very high ceiling.
-Pretty sure I want nothing to do with the Dolphins for fantasy. If Parker is out for a time Preston Williams is worth playing, but the RB's are rotating too often at this point, and Gaskin is terrible even if he is starting.
-The Patriots defense can be streamed safely against lesser offenses