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Week 2 Game Recap: New England Patriots 43, Miami Dolphins 0


What you need to know

New England Patriots

ē Tom Bradyís offensive line. With Marcus Cannon, Isaiah Wynn, and Joe Thuney all banged up, the hope is this wonít be a huge detriment. If it is, expect a lot of runs and quick passes.

ē The offense will settle in once Antonio Brown integrates, but target share is going to be hard to predict on a weekly basis. His presence would seem to hurt James White and Josh Gordon the most, but thatís not completely certain.

Miami Dolphins

There is absolutely nothing going right in Miami right now. Despite having recent success against New England at home, the Dolphins were unable to put any points on the board this week. Miami has been outscored by a staggering 102-10 in the first 2 weeks of the NFL season and the schedule does not get any easier in the next 2 weeks. Ryan Fitzpatrick looked atrocious and was pulled after his 3rd interception only to see Josh Rosen come in and throw another. Things really got out of hand with 2 interceptions returned for touchdowns in the 4th quarter and the offense failed to produce anything positive this week. The rushing attack was held under 50 yards and averaged 2.8 yards per carry and the passing attack completed less than 50% of their passes. Earlier in the week, Minkah Fitzpatrick was granted the right to explore trade options with other teams and everything is falling apart for the Dolphins. Miami will take on a hot Cowboys offense in Dallas next week and try to avoid an 0-3 hole to start the season.

New England Patriots

QB Tom Brady, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 28 - 264 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 1 - 1
In what would be doing the word ďannihilationĒ a disservice, the PatriotsÖannihilatedÖthe Dolphins in a complete team effort. It took a mere 28 pass attempts for Tom Brady, including several with the game well in hand in the 4th quarter, to put up 264 yards and 3 total touchdowns. While it was easy sailing against a team like the Dolphins, it is important to note Bradyís offensive line was hit with a number of injuries during the game, which could have ramifications against a more competitive defensive front. That said, early going, the name of the game was getting Antonio Brown involved, with a number of purposeful throws in his direction. Some timing was off, but some throws were on target, including the touchdown on a short go route from about 20 yards out. Bradyís other touchdown was late in the game on a screen to James White that looked like there were no defenders within a country mile of the play. Brady also had an easy sneak for a short touchdown, something he usually converts anyways. It was tough to take much away in such an uncompetitive game, but again, the weapons and OL bear watching going forward.

RB Sony Michel, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 21 - 85 - 1
To no oneís surprise, the Pats made a concerted effort to run the ball against the Dolphins, especially since the game was out of hand by the second half. Behind a makeshift offensive line for much of the game, Michel looked relatively ordinary, though again, blocking was hit-or-miss. His lone touchdown was of the short variety for the first score of the game, and was a relatively easy one. His biggest blemish was a fumble, though Belichick didnít bench him for the error. Unsurprisingly, Michel was not involved in the passing game, and though his usage should remain consistent as the Pats look to balance their attack in games, itís a reminder that he wonít play in hurry-up or pass-heavy games.

RB Rex Burkhead, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 21 - 0, Rec: 2 - 47 - 0 (2 targets)
Similar to James White, Burkheadís role is going to be highly volatile as long as other RBs and WRs are healthy. He can do it all, but isnít the main option in the running or passing game, so a handful of touches per game will be the norm.

RB James White, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 10 - 0, Rec: 3 - 19 - 1 (4 targets)
White wasnít super involved against the Dolphins, as there were a plethora of pass-catching options and Sony Michel dominating rushing carries. His fantasy day was salvaged by a garbage time screen touchdown, but itís clear his role may be highly volatile as long as the Pats have their WRs healthy and at their disposal.

WR Julian Edelman, 66 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0, Rec: 4 - 51 - 0 (4 targets)
With the Pats purposely getting Antonio Brown involved early, Edelman didnít see huge volume in the passing game. He caught each one of his targets, and should see more consistent volumes in competitive games where Tom Brady needs someone to trust.

WR Antonio Brown, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0, Rec: 4 - 56 - 1 (8 targets)
Controversy aside, the Patriots made a concerted effort to get Brown involved early, and it worked on his 20 yard pitch and catch with Tom Brady. He was beating coverage with regularity, but it was clear that timing between he and Tom Brady needs ironing out. Brown didnít play a full complement of snaps, but it was clear against an inferior opponent, a part of the day was integrating him into the offense. In more competitive games, his role may need be as voluminous until that trust grows.

WR Josh Gordon, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 19 - 0 (5 targets)
With Antonio Brown and the lopsided game, it was Gordon who saw the biggest drop in action. Though he did see 5 targets, he only converted 2 of them for catches. Itís clear as long as AB is part of the game, his targets and yards could be volatile, though itís also worth noting a theme of the first half against the Dolphins was getting AB integrated into the offense.


Miami Dolphins

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, 38 offensive snaps, Pass: 11 - 21 - 89 - 0 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 1 - 6 - 0
The Fitz-Magic era in Miami is off to a very rocky start and the veteran QB has not been benched in favor of josh Rosen twice in as many games. He was sacked 4 times for a loss of 23 yards and left with a QB rating of 23.8. Fitzpatrick failed to surpass 100 yards through the air and completed just over 50% of his passes. The first drive was a 3 and out that went for -3 yards and then 4 more punts before half time. The first drive of the 2nd half saw some bad luck when a pass intended for DeVante Parker was tipped by Stephon Gilmore and pulled in by Devin McCourty. The next interception was returned 54 yards for a touchdown by Gilmore and then the 3rd by Jamie Collins and returned 69 yards for a touchdown. It was at this point that Rosen took over and the quarterback turmoil continues. There has been no indication as to who will be the starter next week against Dallas.

QB Josh Rosen, 24 offensive snaps, Pass: 7 - 18 - 97 - 0 TD / 1 INT
For the second week in a row, Rosen got a chance to take over in the 4th quarter when Fitzpatrick had struggled. Unfortunately for Rosen, the results were not much different. Rosen completed less than 50% of his passes, was sacked 3 times for a loss of 21 yards and posted a QB rating of 33.8. The first 2 drives resulted in turn over on downs and then the 3rd and final put the nail in the coffin with the 4th interception of the day. Rosen had a 1st and goal from the 8-yard line and tried to force the ball to Mike Gesicki for a game ending interception by Jamie Collins. To that point, Rosen had put together a good drive, but he was unable to cap it off with any points. Rosen has been given a chance the last 2 games and has not looked any better than Fitzpatrick. There has been no decision made on who will start at QB next week for the Dolphins.

RB Kenyan Drake, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 19 - 0, Rec: 5 - 29 - 0 (6 targets)
It was a slow start for the Patriots and the Dolphins should have had an entire first half to try and run the ball and establish an offense. Instead they could not get anything going and Drake had another bad day. Drake had less than 20 yards on the ground and averaged 3.2 yards per carry. He was targeted 6 times and came down with 5 of them for just under 30 yards. The Dolphins offensive line could not protect anyone, and Drake was used as a safety outlet underneath. It is going to be a long year for Drake with Miami playing from behind. There is still some value catching the ball out of the back field, but do not expect many rushing yards for Drake.

RB Kalen Ballage, 21 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 6 - 0, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (5 targets)
It is tough being the back up running back on a team that is unable to even utilize their starting running back. Ballage was given the ball 4 times and averaged 1.5 yards per carry. He was targeted 5 times but only came down with a single reception. Both Fitzpatrick and Rosen were under heavy pressure and rushed the passes towards Ballage. Drake is still the starter in Miami and at the current rate of the offense there will not be a lot of opportunity for Ballage.

WR Preston Williams, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 63 - 0 (6 targets)
With the way the offense is going, Williams may have the first and only touchdown for quite some time. This week he brought in 4 of his 6 targets for a team leading 63 yards. He was the only player that seemed to be able to move the ball down the field and averaged 15.8 yards per reception. Williams has not supplanted Parker as the top receiving option but certainly has the best number on the team so far this season. His longest catch was 17 yards this week and he continues to move the chains on drives where Miami actually moves the ball.

WR Jakeem Grant, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -4 - 0, Rec: 3 - 22 - 0 (7 targets)
With how much both Rosen and Fitzpatrick struggled, it was not surprising to see Grant struggle as well. He was targeted 7 times and caught 3 of them. The 7 targets tied for the team lead and he was given a carry in the run game. Grant was stopped for -4 yards on the carry, but he did have a long 16-yard catch down the middle that accounted for the majority of his 22 yards. It has been a slow start for Grant since signing his extension and it looks like it will be a long season for everyone in Miami.

WR Allen Hurns, 28 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 13 - 0 (2 targets)
With Wilson out this week, Hurns was given a bigger role in the offense. He managed to turn that into a single reception for 13 yards and was targeted only one more time for the rest of the game. Hurns will be the odd many out when Wilson returns from injury and does not hold much value.

WR Albert Wilson
Wilson did not play this week as he continues to nurse a lower body injury. He would not have made much of an impact for an offense that struggled in all aspects of the game this week.

WR DeVante Parker, 57 offensive snaps (7 targets)
It was not a good day for Parker against the Patriots. He had 7 targets come his way but did not come down with a single one of them. Parker was blanketed in coverage all game long and could not seem to break free. Fitzpatrick and Rosen were under duress the entire game and had to deal with a collapsing pocket and limited time to throw the ball. Parker is the top option at receiver for Miami right now but he will need a quarterback to throw him the ball.

TE Mike Gesicki, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (2 targets)
The struggles continued for Gesicki this week with only 2 targets in the offense. He caught 1 ball for 11 yards and the other was intercepted on the last play of the game. Had it been a better throw, Gesicki could have had a garbage time touch down and salvaged his day but it was intercepted by Collins to end the game. Gesicki was pushed by OŪLeary more this week than last week, but he is still the clear starter.