Back in Week 17 last year, Ryan Fitzpatrick was able to connect with tight end Mike Gesicki for a game-winning touchdown to spurn the Patriots chances of earning a first-round bye. As the two clubs met to open up the 2020 season at Gillette Stadium Sunday the stage was set for Fitz-magic to sprinkle hope of a potential comeback. Those thoughts were quickly dashed, however, after the veteran overthrew Gesicki this time around and the ball landed into the arms of New England’s J.C. Jackson. That put the nail in the coffin for the Dolphins as the Patriots moved to 1-0 on the young season, pulling out the 21-11 win.
This game had its oddities for a number of reasons. First and most apparent, was the lack of fans in attendance. The other, however, came under center. Not only was Tom Brady not there, but the guy replacing the six-time Super Bowl champion was flashing ability that position hasn’t seen in these parts for quite some time. Cam Newton’s Patriots debut was highlighted by the quarterback’s rushing ability. En route to the win, Newton took command with his legs, rushing for two scores on top of his team-high 75 yards on the ground. While he wasn’t as prolific with his arm in this win, Newton did complete 15 of his 19 throws for 155 yards.
While Jackson’s interception off Fitzpatrick was they key clincher to the victory, the true swing came in the form of a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive by the Patriots in the fourth quarter that lasted 5:08 and kept Miami a breathable distance away.