On the schedule was the ordinary AFC East matchup featuring the New England Patriots visiting Miami Dolphins portion of the calendar.
Then the Patriots signed wide receiver Antonio Brown.
It is only week two; the spread was large, the storylines pilled on and on from the offseason regarding Brown, who was playing his first game of the season visiting his hometown.
The game ended with a butt whooping, and the storylines continued.
Last season it was the Miami miracle; Patriots avenged that after the Patriots beat the Dolphins 43-0 Sunday.
The Patriots played the full 60 minutes of football. They scored twice on interception returns in a two-minute fourth-quarter span and recorded their first shutout since Week 3 of 2016.
I am such a baby because the Dolphins make me cry.
“I thought our team gave good effort today,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick stated. “Miami was ready to go, they gave us problems early, but we were able to work through that. We played 60 minutes and finished the game.”
Brown helped stymie those problems. The Patriots were 18 1/2-point favorites but led only 7-0 late in the first half before Tom Brady hit his newest receiver for a 20-yard score.
They connected four times in all.
“It was a good start,” Brady said. “I was just trying to find an open guy. He was snapping off some routes and did a great job.”
Did the Patriots need Brown?
The defending Super Bowl champions dismantled Pittsburgh 33-3 in last week’s season opener, while the Dolphins were humiliated by Baltimore 59-10.
The Dolphins couldn’t cover Ravens rookie Marquis Brown; they had trouble with his cousin.
Antonio Brown’s status was in doubt because of a civil lawsuit filed by his former trainer accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions.
Patriots and the NFL allowed him to play.
Brown didn’t talk to reporters after the game.
The Dolphins had storylines of their own.
The Ravens loss was arguably the most lopsided regular-season loss in team history.
Moreover leading up to the game there were rumbling Dolphins players were unhappy with the coaching staff, and with the organization’s decision to make next year’s draft a bigger priority than this year’s roster. Dolphins defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick requested and received permission to seek a trade, but did play.
“There’s a saying: `I never lose, I just learn,” Fitzpatrick said. “That’s just what we’ve got to do right now.”
I knew it was going to be bad, but it can get worse.
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 89 yards and was intercepted three times. Josh Rosen replaced him and went seven for 18 for 97 yards and one interception.
Dolphin fans began leaving Hard Rock Stadium with just under 11 minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
The beat goes on.
The Patriots play host to the Jets next Sunday. New England has won the past six meetings.
The Dolphins take their talents at the Dallas Cowboys, who have won their past three meetings.