New England Patriots: 3 bold predictions for Week 1 matchup

Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots Bold Prediction No. 1: Patriots will start the season 1-0

It may not necessarily be bold in the sense that the game is expected to go either way, but a win to start the season with a rookie quarterback playing his first NFL game isn’t going to come as easily as some think. However, the rest of the Patriots roster is better than that of the Dolphins, which helps ease Jones transition into the starting role.

Speaking of Jones, he will have a solid if unspectacular outing in his pro debut. He will go 16/22 for 146 yards and a touchdown, while mostly defaulting to the running backs in this one. But he makes quick decisions and his throws are accurate, which is exactly what the coaches will be looking for.

The main battle of the game will come on the other side of the ball, with the Patriots defense looking to slow down the up-and-coming Miami offense. For the most part, they do a good job creating pressure on Tagovailoa, and making his life uncomfortable in the pocket.

But Tagovailoa is also a threat to run, and he uses that to keep the defense on their toes. With new weapons such as Jaylen Waddle in the fold too, guys are getting open with more frequently than they were last season. Tagovailoa will pass the 200 yard threshold and throw for two touchdowns, but he will make a pair of turnovers (one interception, one fumble) that cost Miami the game.

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It will be a close contest heading into halftime, but New England will exert their superiority in the second half and coast to victory. The run game takes over, and Jones picks up his first career touchdown to seal the deal. Final score: Patriots – 24 Dolphins – 14