Cam Newton and Patriots kick off the season with a win over the Dolphins

Hey hey hey what did I say. Read option was in full effect today, and it worked very well. Loved what we saw form the New England Patriots on both sides of the ball today, even considering the fact that the Miami Dolphins aren’t the strongest competition they will face. In a severely limited off season, it was really nice to be able to get a feel for game action. Now that Cam Newton has a feel for the offense, it allows him to expand in it and start to work on mastering it.

With the offense today, it kind of felt like the first day of school. You’ll start the basics, but won’t expand much on anything. We saw a relatively similar basic read option play used throughout the game, with the shotgun formation and a running back on one side. There’s definitely more to come in that department, but it was a great way to make sure the offense was comfortable in doing it. It’s new for everyone involved really, so it will take time, but the first glimpse is promising.

There’s still a lot to be improved upon. Newton’s pre snap reads need work, and at times he seemed reluctant to switch the call. Miami started throwing 6 or 7 guys in the box when they thought it was a run, and Newton wouldn’t switch up the call. In that situation, dialing up a quick slant for N’Keal Harry, who is physical enough to get the corner on his back quickly, is more beneficial than a hit-or-miss attempt at the read option. The offensive versatility will come in terms or running and passing, but the running backs are the more talented skill position of this roster, so it ultimately wasn’t surprising how it went.

Next week vs the Seattle Seahawks is a huge step up from today on both sides of the ball. The defense was relatively stout vs a relatively poor offense, but Russel Wilson will challenge them in a number of ways, and quickly put the unit to work. Defensively, the Seahawks aren’t what they used to be, but still have key pieces such as Bobby Wagner to wreak havoc in a way that no one Miami could. It’ll be interesting to see how the game-plan switches for the bigger task, and whether or not Newton can answer the call. Either way, good first win, and this provides something the team can build upon.

(Originally posted on September 13, 2020)

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