Mike McDaniel made his Miami Dolphins head-coaching debut hosting Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.
With a defensive touchdown, an interception, and a forced fumble, the Dolphins’ defense dominated Sunday’s season opener, dominating the Patriots in a 20-7 win.
Checkmate McDaniel and the Dolphins.
The Dolphins have now defeated Belichick and the Patriots four games in a row.
Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa passed for 270 yards and a touchdown; second-year receiver Jaylen Waddle scored the Dolphins’ first offensive touchdown, taking a fourth-down pass from Tagovailoa into the end zone for a 42-yard score at the end of the first half. Waddle caught four passes for 69 yards.
The way this team is built, Tagovailoa does not have to win the games. He can be someone other than Aaron Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes. Just get the ball in the hands of your playmakers. The defense was fantastic, mainly adding a defensive score. The special teams were impressive.
Tyreek Hill, making his Miami Dolphins debut after the team traded for him during the offseason, led Miami’s receivers with eight receptions for 94 yards.
Patriots second-year quarterback Mac Jones threw for 213 yards with a touchdown and interception. Running back Ty Montgomery caught the Patriots’ only touchdown of the game. Damien Harris led New England’s rushers with 48 yards on nine carries.
This division rivalry does not look the same since Tom Brady took his talents to Tampa Bay; however, it is a combination of things. The Patriots made the playoffs last season. The Dolphins beat a competitive team. Mac Jones was a pro bowl quarterback last season. However, after taking the coaching position with the Las Vegas Raiders, Josh McDaniels is not their offensive coordinator anymore. The Dolphins are a team with their number at the moment, and they took advantage of that in the win.
Call of the game. In his coaching debut, McDaniel opted to go for a 4th and seven near midfield with 24 seconds to play in the first half. The result was a Jaylen Waddle touchdown and a 17-0 halftime lead. It was a call that illustrated he has confidence in this offense.
The head-scratcher in this game, Mike Gesicki, getting paid roughly 11 million dollars, had one catch, one target. It is not the Gesicki show; however, he has not had a significant role and focal point of the offense. His involvement will grow since the Dolphins invested the money, and he is a talented player who can help the duo of receivers in Hill and Waddle.