Dolphins open up the 2020 season with an antique offense

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

With week one in the books, the Miami Dolphins opened up their 2020 campaign right where they left off, visiting AFC East rival New England Patriots. Except, this time, it was the Patriots that would end up coming out on top, sending Miami to a 0-1 start.

The Patriots, behind new starting quarterback Cam Newton, put together a good game plan that made playing in an empty Gillette Stadium, and no Tom Brady, not a problem at all. Dolphins failed to take advantage of either.

Offensively, where do I start? I have to start with the Dolphins offensive line. Every year it seems fans are having the same discussion…no push upfront. The Patriots were shoving them around all game long. Yes, it’s a new unit, but you should have at least some continuity built up while in training camp.

Dolphins had 87 total rushing yards, with 18 yards of that coming from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick struggled in an offensive scheme he was touted as “knowing very well”, under new offense coordinator Chan Gailey. Fitzpatrick threw 3 interceptions and at times threw to receivers who were blanketed by Patriots defensive backs.

Here are a few of Head Coach Brian Flores’ post-game comments.

(I wanted to ask your thoughts on how Ryan Fitzpatrick played today?)

Had some spurts there where we were moving the ball, but obviously with turnovers, those are huge. We talk about that a lot as a team. It’s tough to win when you turn the ball over. But I do think he had some, put some drives together. We only finished the one. But just too many turnovers at the end of the day.”

We all agree. You’re not going to win many games with three turnovers. However, this Dolphins offense looked lifeless at times. Players with hands on hips and their heads down. No big plays. At least last year’s ousted offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea’s gimmick plays were fun to watch. The game plan we watched today looked old and very predictable, not at all what I would want to see once the Dolphins pull the trigger and start first-round pick QB Tua Tagovailoa.

Defensively, we saw some big plays from linebacker Jerome Baker, who forced a fumble close to the goal line that would have sealed the game early in the fourth quarter. The Dolphins defense battled with the same failure to stop the run, allowing Newton two rushing touchdowns. Coach Flores acknowledged that the team has to do a better job.

(Coach, they ran for over 200 yards. What did you think of the run defense and the ability to stop Cam Newton running the football?)

“We’ve got to do better at run defense. Obviously the quarterback was an issue. Yeah, we’ve got to do a better job.”

Overall, a disappointing game. Yes, it’s only game 1, but with the Buffalo Bills coming to town and seeing this game on tape, the Dolphins need to get a better game plan together quickly.

Chat with Lisa on Twitter @LJ1303

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