Positive, Negative Takeaways From Patriots Week 1 Defeat


Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots 2014 season opener against the Miami Dolphins was abysmal and downright disappointing on many levels. All summer long the buzz had been focused on a revamped defense, an offense equipped with a multitude of weapons and Super Bowl aspirations.

While the club is only one week into their 16-game campaign, Sunday’s defeat highlighted an array of concerns in all three phases of the game. Although it was not total nightmare as some players had a nice showing from an individual standpoint.

After having some time to digest the 33-20 loss, here are my positive and negative takeaways.


1. Julian Edelman picked up where he left off in 2013. He hauled in six balls for 95 yards. Tom Brady targeted him eight times in the game. It appears as if he’ll remain Brady’s go to guy until Rob Gronkowski returns to full health.

2. Shane Vereen showed dependability in the New England backfield. Among the Patriots stable of runners, it was Vereen who saw the most action. He played 61 of the team’s 86 offensive plays. He picked up 37 yards on seven carries and scored a touchdown. Brady also connected with him on five passes for 35 yards.

3. The defense forced multiple turnovers. Logan Ryan and Jamie Collins both forced fumbles that were recovered by the Patriots. Alfonzo Dennard also intercepted a pass. Darrelle Revis chipped in with two pass deflections. Once the offense finds it way, those turnovers will be converted into touchdowns.

4. Gronk returned to the lineup.  The big man caught four balls for 40 yards. He also added a touchdown. He may have only played 38 snaps, but the mere fact that he was out there is huge for the Patriots’ offense moving forward. It was also nice to see a Gronk spike again.

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1. Danny Amendola and Brandon LaFell were terrible. With Aaron Dobson out of the lineup, the duo was presented with a chance to step up and they failed to do so. Amendola caught just three balls while LaFell didn’t register a catch.

2. The offensive line wilted in the second half. Bill Belichick rotated a group of guys along the line in the first half, including Marcus Cannon, Jordan Devey and Ryan Wendell. Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer and Dan Connolly saw the majority of the action. Nevertheless, Brady was sacked and hit routinely. It was an alarming sight that has to be rectified immediately.

3. The defensive line was blown away by Miami’s rushing attack. Vince Wilfork was cleared out of the middle with ease. Their second level, led my Jerod Mayo, tackled poorly. Knowshon Moreno ran with authority. The Patriots couldn’t stop him.

4. Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower were flagged for three penalties in total for illegal hits on the quarterback. That’s unacceptable and costly.

5. The punt team was exploited. A poor snap and blown protection up the gut led to Ryan Allen‘s punt being blocked on the the opening possession of the game.