This year, autumn came early in New England.
This is not a comment on the weather in the Northeast, but a variation of the old adage that if you don’t like the weather in New England, it will take you 10 minutes. No, instead it’s a comment on the psychological well-being of a sports fan from Boston.
After all, the Boston Red Sox got off to a slow start, and after action for second place in the Eastern American League in early July, they had gone to the ground as the summer came to an end, and had to watch teams like Toronto, Tampa Bay and Baltimore rise above them in the standings.
And to get local sports fans to dream about Mac Jones, the New England Patriots and yes, the Fall.
However, after the start of the 2022 season from the “Patriots”, winter seems to be approaching.
After a summer of intrigue at the palace, questions about the rude players and the development of the quarterback in the second year of training, the Patriots forwards came on the field on Sunday afternoon in the opening game of the season against the Miami Dolphins.
The results were not pleasing.
The “Patriots” were able to score only one goal in the season debut and were defeated by the “Dolphins” away with a score of 20:7. They led a total of only 271 yards in strike and turned the ball into the opponent’s penalty area three times.
New England opened the game on offense, and just when it seemed that they were about to launch a touchdown campaign (perhaps the fear that came from the Boston area all summer), Mc Jones decided to connect with the new wide receiver DeVante Parker. Still, the Miami defense walked away with the ball in defense:
There was a lot of contact between Parker and cornerback Xavien Howard on the route, and many Patriots fans were looking for relief in the form of a yellow flag for interference when passing, but no relief followed. Instead, the “Dolphins” took over the ball thanks to a player from Jevon Holland.
New England fans would have expected more than relief after in the first half as Jones walked off the football midway through the second quarter:
Boundary flashes and perimeter pressure were a challenge for Jones last season, and his ability to discern those intentions in advance was the focus of the Patriots’ attention during training camp. In this game, with a tight end that has a free exit, Jones might have expected this game to be blocked and the left hook to turn outwards with a fan to pick up a lightning bolt. However, left fielder Trent Brown, who is one of three left fielders, picks up the inside rusher and releases defenseman Brandon Jones. Jones never checks if the protection works, assuming it will be so, and pays for it.
Brandon Jones, for his part, has done a lot of work to set the time for this flash. Maybe dolphins also considered boundary flashes and perimeter pressure a priority in the days leading up to this game…
Until the break, the Patriots led 17-0 thanks to a strong touchdown by Jaylen Waddle, and given the fact that the New England Patriots strike was falling behind, comeback did not seem to be expected. Jones finished the first half with 9 of 12 assists for 87 yards and an interception, with the NFL scoring just 60.1. In the first half, New England spent only 108 yards on offense and only the first 7 downs.
Perhaps some wonderful adjustments during the break could give an answer.
For a while it seemed like that’s exactly what was going to happen. After the New England defensive Miami punt forced the first possession in the second half, the Patriots offense scored their first touchdown of the season. Although they started on their own ten-yard line, Jones and Company marched the entire length of the field. They received help on the ground from Damien Harris and Ramondra Stevenson and used a certain pace on the descent to catch dolphins when there were too many people on the field at some point.
The drive ended with a short touchdown by Jones in response to outfielder Tay Montgomery:
Miami scored only three points in this game with the third goal, putting it eight points behind the relegation zone. The Patriots perform the “tilt / flat” combination on the right flank, Parker quickly shoots to the center, while Montgomery shoots from the back field line to the flat shot. Howard sticks to Parker’s oblique route, while no one compares Montgomery to Flat, while the running back makes a serve and rolls the barrel into the end zone for New England’s first points.
They will also be your last glasses.
The Patriots again failed to score in the afternoon, and the critical moment could have come at the beginning of the fourth quarter. After Montgomery was stopped in midfield during a third-down insider when just over ten minutes remained, the Patriots spent their first timeout developing a fourth-down strategy. Trailing 20-7, it was like a defining moment for New England.
Once again, the “dolphins” threw the eights into the cover. But this time the numerical advantage worked. Jones’ fourth attempt to hit Henry in the direction of Hunter was unfinished — and would be canceled due to Brown’s reluctance — and Miami took the upper hand.
The Patriots would have had the last chance to score, but the strike was lost again. Nelson Agolor awkwardly fended off the ball in Miami, when it took just under five minutes and the “Dolphins” again came to rest. Miami was able to prevail away from home and sent the guests home with a defeat.
And perhaps even more troubling was that Jones was sent to an X-ray office at the Hard Rock Stadium.:
For Patriots fans looking for hope, you may need an extra touch of pink on your glasses. While the NFL sometimes holds out hope, thanks to the freedom of choice and the draft that makes all fans believe that they are only one step away from this year to really become their year, Sunday night is often the hardest in the football year after a loss on the season debut.
Of course, Patriots fans can point to the slow starts of the teams of the past, or they can point to what they saw in Harris and Stevenson’s jerks in the running game. You can look at the moments when Jones felt comfortable in the pocket and made quick decisions with football. You can point out that the New England defensive Miami holds only 13 points in strike. You can also see what Kendrick Bourne did with his only goal in the game, as he lags behind the cover for that 41-yard gain:
However, tonight these moments can bring little comfort. After all, the Patriots fans had the fun of the Buffalo Bills’ rude play on the opening night of the season, and New England now has three games to play that look a little more difficult today than when the schedule was announced. Next week, they will travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers, a defense that upset Joe Barrow on Sunday (but may remain without T.J. Watt after an issue in the game against Cincinnati). They will then face Lamar Jackson and Aaron Rogers in the following weeks.
Not exactly a smooth start to the year.
While the Patriots teams in the past, under the leadership of Bill Belichick, used the first four games of the year as an extended preseason, inconsistencies in the strike that occurred during the training kickoff and lined up in the first game of the season indicate additional work. Belicic has long claimed that he wants his teams to show their best football over the course of the season, and until then there is still a long way to go in the football calendar.