New quarterback. New era in New England. Same old thought.
The Patriots overpowered the Dolphins, 21-11, in the opener before an empty Gillette Stadium that left Dolphins a little empty over all the off-season change.
Here are 10 thoughts on the game:
1. Stat of the game: Patriots 42 carries for 217 yards. No surprise to the Patriots' game plan on Sunday. They were going to run the ball. The moderate surprise is after a Dolphins winter of trying improve the rush defense didn’t show up in the opener. The Patriots have a great interior of the offensive line with guards Shaq Mason, Joe Thuney and center David Andrews and that’s a sure way to test what the Dolphins did. In the first quarter, the Patriots had 10 carries for 52 yards. The Dolphins had trouble up the middle and in containment, too, when the edges got attacked. By game’s end, the Dolphins defensive line was plumb worn out. It was no surprise Belichick went for it with under six minutes left on fourth-and-less-than-1 at the Dolphins 5-yard line. Newton ran to the left side for 4 yards to set up the final touchdown.