There is one overriding story when it comes to the New England Patriots. And we know what it is. Just how will this team react to the loss of a quarterback who has won six Super Bowls? And what will they look like with another starter behind center? Customers at SportsBetting are very curious about it.
The season begins on Sunday, September 13 against the Miami Dolphins, who have made quite an overhaul themselves. It will take place at 1 PM ET at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, televised by CBS.
Out with the old, in with the new
Tom Brady left behind quite a legacy in New England. Obviously he helped Bill Belichick build a reputation as one of the great head coaches of all-time. What should be noted about the Pats is that there have been periods where they didn’t have Brady. And they managed to find success with Matt Cassell, then Jimmy Garoppolo. So we have no doubt that they can find some degree of success with Cam Newton at the controls.
But the question is, HOW successful can they be? It is clear that Newton is not the same kind of quarterback Brady is. And the team can’t run the same kind of offense. At the same time, Newton brings certain attributes to the table, such as the ability to pull off some designed run plays. And let’s not forget that he won the league’s MVP award while leading the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl.
Here are the numbers……
In the NFL betting odds posted on this game by the folks at SportsBetting, the Pats are favored.
New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins Week 1 Odds
|Dolphins||+6½ (-110)||43 (-110)||+237|
|Patriots||-6½ (-110)||43 (-110)||-290|
A revival in Miami?
What the Dolphins did last season was actually very interesting. With talent that was considered to be low-grade, they managed to win five games. And they could have won more. They got to draft Tua Tagovailoa in the first round. But they will be starting Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback for this one, which will at least bring some continuity.
The Dolphins have improved themselves at almost every position. They have running backs now; Matt Breida and Jordan Howard should allow them to move on the ground. The offensive line has been virtually rebuilt. They got themselves a couple of pass rushers in Shaq Lawson and Emmanuel Ogbah, with a new cornerback in Byron Jones. They’ve added a couple of former Patriots – linebacker Kyle Van Noy and center Ted Karrass.
With 14 draft picks and a lot of salary cap dollars available, the Dolphins were able to maneuver quite a bit. So kudos to head coach Brian Flores and exec Chris Grier, both of whom have New England ties. This will look a lot more like a real football team.
The Patriots didn’t have a lot of receiving talent to surround Brady with last year. They didn’t make major changes either. Mohammed Sanu has been cut. So they are looking at Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry and Damiere Byrd and not a whole lot else that is threatening.
One big question involves whether Newton is a good fit for the Patriots’ “culture.” He is a lot different than Brady in the personality department. And physically he can’t do everything he used to do. This could be a rather pedestrian offense. And with some of the losses they’ve sustained on defense, they may really need to dominate on the ground to win the AFC East.
We’ll have enough faith that Miami has learned its lessons from last season and that the Dolphins are more prepared to swim in the deep end. They beat New England last season, and this is a braintrust with a lot of familiarity with the Pats’ organization. We’ll take the points.
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