Batman, Superman, and the Miami Dolphins. What do the three have to do with each other?
For starters, Batman, a human with fancy weapons and a lot of money should not stand a chance against an alien with superpowers who’s only vulnerable to Kryptonite. The Miami Dolphins have an owner with deep pockets and have had plenty of fancy weapons over the years. The speedster Mike Wallace, the quarterback killer Ndamukong Suh, the workhorse Ricky Williams, and the unstoppable Brandon Marshall just to name a few.
The problem is the New England Patriots are like Superman in this scenario and their Kryptonite is removing Tom Brady from the roster. In fact, the last time the Patriots lost the division title was in 2008 when Brady suffered a season-ending torn ACL in week one. The Dolphins won the title that year.
Power Shift in the AFC East
(Spoiler Alert): The movie ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘ ended with the death of Superman. It was at that moment all of his enemies including Lex Luthor believed that their time to be victorious had finally arrived.
Fast forward to today and Tom Brady is now in the NFC South division as the quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Buffalo Bills emerge as the media favorites to take over the AFC East. The New York Jets finished 2019 stronger than any other team in the division and regardless of their disfunction remain confident that they have a chance now that Brady is gone.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins have been getting every move in this rebuild right and already proved that they could beat the Patriots with Brady. The Dolphins were the only team in the AFC East to beat the Patriots in 2019. The Dolphins were poised to take the next step and look to sweep the Patriots in 2020!
One thing about the Dolphins v.s. Patriots rivalry is that it’s never short on excitement. Just when the Dolphins had the Kryptonite to bury the Patriots for good, New England was re-energized by none other than Superman himself: Cam Newton.
NFL Week One Preview – Sunday, September 13 Miami @ New England
The Dolphins played the Patriots in Week 2 and Week 17 in 2019. In the first matchup, the Dolphins lost 43-0. New England dominated this game in every aspect but especially on the defensive side of the ball. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s stat line was 89 yards with 0 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Josh Rosen got his shot in this game also and was not much better. Rosen’s stat line was 97 yards with 0 touchdowns and 1 interception.
No So Fun Fact
If a quarterback spikes the football on every snap, they would finish the game with a 39.6 passer rating. The Dolphins quarterbacks versus the Patriots in Week 2 finished with a 39.6 passer rating.
The Dolphins were still finding their way at this point in the season. Miami’s first four games were blowout losses and they started the season 0-7 before securing their first win.
In the second match against New England, the Dolphins kept it close all game against the playoff-bound AFC East Champions. Miami went on to win 27-24 in a game where Ryan Fitzpatrick (28-41, 320 yards, 1 touchdown, and 0 interceptions for a 99.6 passer rating) outplayed Tom Brady (16-29, 221 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception for an 88.4 passer rating).
When these two teams face off for the 2020 season home opener, both units could be rolling with new starting quarterbacks since.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is the projected starter at this point considering that Tua Tagovailoa has not taken a single practice snap with the Dolphins yet. But a lot could change between now and then. Newton is projected to be the Patriots’ starter for week one.
The Defensive Difference
The Patriots defense still has lost a lot of key players from last season. Some are going to be suiting up against their former team in week 1.
Former Patriots Linebackers Elandon Roberts and Kyle Van Noy not only make the Dolphins defense more versatile but also weaken New England’s in the process. Miami also added top cornerback Byron Jones to be paired with Xavien Howard who is returning from injury.
New England’s defense is still dangerous with Defensive Player of the Year, Stephon Gilmore. However, Devante Parker got the best of this matchup the last time they met racking up 137 yards receiving.
This should be a fun matchup. The Patriots recently tipped the scales in their favor in terms of hype. Unfortunately for them, hype does not win games. Miami still has a slight edge to get the victory regardless of the addition of Newton. The Dolphins have added a lot of pieces and have a young strong core of players returning. The Patriots still seem to be going in the opposite direction from that standpoint.
Look for the Dolphins to be the talk of the town after an opening week victory over the Patriots as the world watches Superman fall from grace.