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4 Dolphins takeaways after Week 1 win vs. Patriots

Miami Dolphins, Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert

The Miami Dolphins defeated the New England Patriots, 20-7, on Sunday. The victory moves the Dolphins to 4-1 against the Patriots since 2020.

The Dolphins scored two touchdowns in the first half and never looked back. The Patriots struggled to get anything going on offense and quarterback Mac Jones suffered a back injury.

Next week, the Dolphins will travel to M&T Bank Stadium to face off against the Baltimore Ravens, while the Patriots will stay on the road as they travel to Acrisure Stadium to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Here is a breakdown of takeaways from the Dolphins’ Week 1 win.

4 Dolphins takeaways from Week 1 win vs Patriots

4. The run game is still a weakness for the offense

Dolphins running backs Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert are both listed as starting running backs on the team’s depth chart. Unfortunately, both players failed to make much of an impact against the Patriots.

Edmonds got the start but produced little during his chances. He ran for 25 rushing yards on 12 attempts. While Edmonds was ineffective in the run game, he performed admirably as a pass-catcher. He caught four passes for 40 receiving yards.

Mostert had five carries for 16 rushing yards. He also had one catch for 16 receiving yards.

In total, the Dolphins only got a measly 41 rushing yards on 2.65 yards per carry from their running backs.

Last season, the Dolphins finished with the third-worst rushing offense in the NFL. This offseason, the team signed Edmonds and Mostert to beef up their rushing attack. Head coach Mike McDaniel is also known for being a guru when it comes to the run game.

Unfortunately for Miami, the team’s struggles with running the football in the preseason are leaking into the regular season.

3. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle will be one of the NFL’s most dynamic receiver duos

When the Dolphins traded for wide receiver Tyreek Hill this offseason, the team immediately possessed arguably the league’s best 1-2 punch at the position and the two speedsters did not disappoint in their first game together.

Hill led all receivers with eight catches for 94 receiving yards. Waddle was right behind him with four catches for 69 receiving yards and one touchdown.

This game proves that Waddle will still be a huge part of the offense even while sharing the field with Hill.

The threat of Hill takes the attention off of Waddle and gives him more one-on-one matchups. This might make Waddle an even more dangerous player than Hill this season.

2. The defense continues to be one of the league’s best

The Dolphins’ defense is one of the most underrated units in the NFL. Last season, Miami ranked ninth in takeaways with 26 and sixth in sacks with 48.

Against the Patriots, safety Jevon Holland picked off a pass in the endzone from quarterback Mac Jones after the ball was tipped by cornerback Xavien Howard.

Later, safety Brandon Jones sacked Jones and forced a fumble. Linebacker Melvin Ingram was then able to scoop up the ball and score a touchdown.

Jones finished with 213 passing yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He was also sacked twice.

Patriots running backs Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson combined for 73 rushing yards on 17 carries.

1. Tua Tagovailoa is prepping for a breakout season

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had a solid outing throwing for 270 passing yards and one touchdown. Fun fact: Tagovailoa is undefeated against the Patriots. This win marks his fourth straight win against Bill Belichick.

The only thing that could limit Tagovailoa’s ascent to stardom is his lackluster offensive line. This supposedly revamped unit that signed tackle Terron Armstead and guard Connor Williams this offseason gave up three sacks on Sunday.

Albeit, the team did struggle with injuries along the line throughout the game.

Tagovailoa showed comfort in commanding this new-look offense. While McDaniel’s offense is predicated on establishing the run, if the running backs continue to struggle, Tagovailoa could have plenty of opportunities to put up stellar performances.