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MORSE: 15 Observations from Week 1 Patriots Loss to Dolphins

Mark Morse
Mark Morse on Twitter
3 weeks ago at 3:24 pm ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

MORSE: 15 Observations from Week 1 Patriots Loss to DolphinsJasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots lost to the Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami by the score of 20-7.  The score was not indicative of the game.  Miami’s victory was never in doubt.  Two big plays, the strip sack on an unimpeded Blitzer for a TD, then with a 4th and 7, as the half was coming to an end, Waddle split the safeties for a 42-yard TD.  Speed kills, Waddle and Hill just burnt the Patriots’ secondary.

  • Patriots opened with an impressive 8-play drive, only to have a deep pass to Parker tipped at the goal line by Howard and Intercepted by Holland. Replay clearly showed that Parker was held and interfered with.  Howard was holding him all the way into the end zone and wouldn’t allow him to raise his arm to make the catch.  A huge non-call that changed the remainder of the game would be played.
  • The O-line played well on the opening drive with a mix of runs and passes.
  • The second drive was awful as the line reverted to its old self.
  • Not sure who missed the blitz pickup. It was very well disguised as the Safety hid behind the Linebacker.  Trent Brown never moved to pick him up, Strange double-teamed inside.  Hunter Henry ran his pass route and perhaps should have picked up the Blitzer.
  • Strange was benched for Ferentz. Brown was exhausted near the end of the half and never got out on a pull and whiffed on a block.  Maybe it’s time to look at replacing Brown and his bad attitude.
  • On a positive note, the Defensive line held Miami to 65 yards rushing.
  • Harris averaged 5 yards per carry
  • Kendrick Bourne in his only play of the game catches a 41-yard bomb. He got separation on the DB.  Why isn’t he playing?
  • Mac Jones has to play smarter. His failure to pick up blitzes pre-snap is killing this team.  I thought Jones played a very poor game overall.  He floated passes when they needed to be zipped, allowing DBs time to get back into the play.  He threw the deep pass to Parker (more on him later) when he was covered by Xavier Howard one of the best CBs in the league.
  • On the 4th and 7 play at the end of the 1st half in which Jaylen Waddle and his speed split the safeties for a 42-yard TD, why was JuWhaun Bentley in the game? If Mack Wilson is in the game that pass never gets completed.
  • Tua Tagovailoa tried to give the game to the Patriots and they wouldn’t take it. Jack Jones had great coverage and position on Tyreek Hill and leaped for the INT, only to have Hill snatch it from his hands.  Myles Bryant in the 4th quarter knocked away a sure interception by Devin McCourty.
  • The Defense held Miami’s offense to 13 points, which normally would be good enough to win.
  • How do you get drawn offsides, when the team calls a timeout to remind the d-line not to jump, further, you are the Nose Tackle and you are right over the ball. If I were the coach, Carl Davis would be cut today, right in the middle of the team viewing the game film.
  • Tyreek Hill’s speed was a huge factor for Miami. We have no one on offense that demands the respect that Hill does.
  • Three plays, the strip sack for TD; 42-yard TD pass on 4th and 7 with 18 seconds left; and the lack of an obvious hold of Davante Parker by Xavier Howard before the tipped ball/Interception was the difference in the game.  It wasn’t pretty and there is plenty of room for improvement, but there are also signs that things may not be that far off for the Patriots.

 

Patriots Wide Receiver Controversy

One of the biggest points coming out of this game was the lack of playing time for Kendrick Bourne.  His one play was a 41-yard bomb down the sideline in which he clearly beat his man (separation).   When are the Patriots coaches going to learn that Jakobi Meyers and Davante Parker play the same position?  There should never be a time when both players are on the field at the same time.  In my preview of the Dolphins, I cited the analysis done by Warren Sharp.  He stated that Parker is the worst player in the league in getting separation.

In the last three years, he has been 3rd worst, worst, and worst.  Parker is strong on 50/50 balls, but everything is 50/50 with him.  Sharp talked about the “aggressiveness” factor.  Tua Tagovailoa had the highest number of aggressive throws, those forced into smaller windows, in the league.  Those aggressive throws are more likely to be knocked away, tipped, and intercepted.  Parker was the main factor.  Now he is in NE.  Parker was not open on the long pass in the opening drive.  It was a poor decision by Mac Jones to throw it, especially when Xavier Howard was covering Parker.

When I say Meyers and Parker play the same position I mean they can’t get separation.  Play them in the slot but not at the same time.  Play Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne outside to utilize their speed.   Trading for Parker was a huge mistake.


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