The Patriots encountered more obstacles than most teams over the course of what truly was a roller coaster of an NFL offseason.
Still, New England managed to get off on the right foot in the 2020 campaign.
The Patriots claimed victory in their regular-season opener, taking down the AFC East rival Miami Dolphins 21-11 at Gillette Stadium. Their new starting quarterback, Cam Newton, shined with a two-touchdown performance, and their new-look front seven impressed. Long-term expectations for the Patriots probably should remain tempered, but they certainly deserve proper praise for their Week 1 showing.
Arguably no Patriot deserves more credit than head coach Bill Belichick, who was tabbed as one of the nine biggest Week 1 winners by NFL writer Adam Schein.
“New England’s offseason was filled with free-agent defections, including one such exit by the greatest player in NFL history,” Schein wrote for NFL.com. “The preseason was filled with COVID-19 opt-outs, including core defensive pieces Dont’a Hightower and Patrick Chung. And yet, Bill Belichick gets a Week 1 win over the team that bounced the Patriots from a bye last December. Sunrise, sunset.
“Belichick and Co. signed Cam Newton off the street after nobody showed much interest early in free agency. The former MVP came out and ran for a pair of scores, looking like the vintage specimen who gave opposing defensive coordinators fits for much of the 2010s. And while I think it is asinine to compare and contrast Tom Brady’s success to that of Belichick’s Patriots, it does add to the coach’s Week 1 devilish smirk that the Bucs lost and Brady looked like he was playing for a new team.”
The Patriots will need another great gameplan from Belichick if they want to improve to 2-0. New England’s opponent Sunday night, the Seattle Seahawks, looked terrific in Week 1 and are awfully tough to beat at home.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images