The Miami Dolphins will open their regular season with Tua Tagovailoa under center. Rumors swirled during the preseason that Miami would trade for disgruntled Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson but that did not take place. Tua will have several top receivers at his disposal and the Miami defense is expected to be one of the NFL's best. Miami has several players out injured.
The Mac Jones era begins in New England on Sunday as the rookie quarterback will start under center for the Patriots. New England will have one of its better wide receivers N’Keal Henry sidelined and one of its better defensive backs Stephon Gilmore, which will give the Patriots a slight disadvantage at home against the Dolphins. New England has backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham out as well as wide receiver N’Keal Henry, along with end Dalton Keene and linebackers Cameron Negroni, Raekwon McMillian and defensive back Stephon Gilmore
Miami Defense It ToughThe Miami defense is expected to be one of the NFL's best. The 3-4 set up will be anchored up front by Emanuelle Ogbah, Raekwon Davis and Christian Wilkins. The strong linebacker corps is led by Andrew Van Ginkel, and Jerome Baker, while the secondary has Xavien Howard, Jason McCourty and Eric Rowe. Last season the defense was sixth in the NFL after allowing an average of 116.3 rushing yards and 251.5 yards per game passing.
As mentioned earlier, the Miami Dolphins will be led by QB Tua Tagovailoa. The running game has a talented back in Myles Gaskin with Malcolm Brown as the backup. DeVante Parker leads a group of talented wide receivers including Jaylen Waddle, but William Fuller V is suspended. Tight end Mike Gesicki gives Tua an option to pass when the wide receivers are not open and is a strong blocker. The offensive line will be without Austin Jackson but should hold its own against a tough New England defense.
Mac Jones facing tough Miami DRookie quarterback Mac Jones will start for the New England Patriots and faces a tough challenge to open the season against one of the NFL's top defenses. The Patriots will attempt to establish a running game with Damien Harris and James White, so that Jones will have more time when dropping back to pass to Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor, who is questionable.
The New England defense has a 4-3 and its top players up front are defensive end Harry Anderson and defensive tackle Davon Godchaux. The linebackers core is anchored by Dont’a Hightower, who sat out last season but returns for 2021. Cornerbacks JC Jackson and Jalen Mills (questionable) and safeties Adrian Phillips and veteran Devin McCourty give the Patriots a strong presence against the pass. Last season, New England was 17 overall defense, allowing an average of 131.4 yards rushing and 222.3 yards passing per game.
- New England is 1-5 ATS in the last six as the favorite
- Miami is 20-8 ATS in the last 28
- The Dolphins are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 during Week 1