MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Some assorted notes and nuggets from the New England Patriots 43-0 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium:
— The Patriots are losing offensive linemen at an alarming rate.
With center David Andrews already sidelined for the season as he recovers from blood clots, New England also was forced to play backups at both tackle spots Sunday.
Right tackle Marcus Cannon was ruled out after testing his injured shoulder in pregame warmups, and left tackle Isaiah Wynn left during the first quarter with a foot injury and did not return.
Wynn’s exit forced Marshall Newhouse, who’d started the game at right tackle after signing with the team just four days earlier, to shift to the left side. Korey Cunningham replaced Newhouse on the right, making his Patriots debut.
“It’s a real challenge there,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “Marshall and Korey really stepped up, and that’s what we have depth for. We had to use it today. It was a tough day out there, but they battled through it.”
Newhouse, who now has started games for six NFL teams over a nine-year career, struggled after the mid-game position switch. The 31-year-old allowed a sack to linebacker Vince Biegel, a quarterback hit to Raekwon McMillan and three hurries, according to Pro Football Focus. He also was flagged twice for holding.
“It’s very difficult,” Newhouse said of his move from right tackle to left. “But it’s what I had to do in the moment.”
Newhouse estimated he was able to learn “80 percent” of the Patriots’ playbook before his debut.
“It’s been pretty whirlwind-ish and chaotic,” he said. “I’m just trying to handle it, be a pro and just go about my business. Today was just one of those days. At this point, I think I’ve seen everything there is to see as a lineman, so I just kind of handle it. Whatever happens, just do the next thing.”
Cunningham, who was traded from the Arizona Cardinals to the Patriots late in the preseason, allowed two hurries, per PFF.
While Cannon appears close to returning, Wynn’s status and the exact nature of his injury are unclear as the Patriots begin preparations for their Week 3 matchup with the New York Jets. Wynn missed his entire rookie season with a torn Achilles but played well in the preseason and in last week’s regular-season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
— This was the Patriots’ first shutout since Week 3 of the 2016 season and their 10th under Belichick. They returned two interceptions for touchdowns (one by Stephon Gilmore, one by Jamie Collins) for the 10th time in team history and the first time since 2012.
— Special teamer Matthew Slater made a rare cameo on offense on James Develin’s unsuccessful goal-line carry.
— Running back Sony Michel bounced back after being held to 14 yards on 15 carries in Week 1. He finished with 85 yards on 21 carries and opened the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown plunge.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images