The NFL season is finally here.
The Miami Dolphins will kick off their 2020 campaign Sunday at 1:00 p.m. against division rival New England Patriots.
305Sports’ Dolphins writers gave their analysis entering Week 1.
Jamie Bahamas, Dolphins Lead Writer
35-21 Miami: In week one we have the encore as the Dolphins travel to Foxboro to take on the Patriots. But this time New England is led by former MVP quarterback in Cam Newton.
In the past, Cam has had the Dolphins’ number. However, he has not played consistently at that MVP level in almost five years. The Patriots were trending down in offensive talent last season and they did not do much to rectify that this season.
New England’s defense was one of the best last year, but most of those key guys with the exception of Stephon Gilmore are gone. In fact, Miami now has more of New England’s key defensive contributors from 2019 than they themselves do.
With this being the first game, there is a lot I am curious to see. I am eager to see the new-look offensive line that is starting two rookies. The Dolphins running game was nonexistent last season so enter Jordan Howard and Matt Breida to change that. Devante Parker had a breakout season last year, and I think that he and Preston Williams are going to be a dangerous tandem starting with week 1.
But what I am most excited to see is Brian Flores’s pride and joy, his amoeba defense in year two with all the new pieces.
I believe that the Dolphins will shock the world in week one and dominate the Patriots on both sides of the ball. I predict that the Dolphins will win this game by more than two touchdowns.
Anthony Yero, Lead Dolphins Writer
31-17 New England: Miami’s defense ranked No. 32 in the league last season. And as we know, the Patriots have added one of the best mobile quarterbacks of all-time in Cam Newton, who’s determined to make noise in the first game of his ‘prove them wrong’ season.
Yes, the Dolphins may have added veterans Kyle Van Noy, Emanuel Ogbah, Shaq Lawson and Elandon Roberts to buff up their defensive line, but it’ll more than likely take some time for them to adjust.
Looking at New England, they lost five of their eight playing time leaders on defense from last season — Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Don’ta Hightower, Duron Harmon and Patrick Chung — which will certainly hurt them.
But will the Dolphins take advantage?
The Dolphins had the No. 27 offense in the NFL in 2019, and while they also made additions and hired offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, will it all click in Week 1? Miami’s offensive line isn’t very daunting either so New England will still have opportunities to hit and pressure Ryan Fitzpatrick.
In an offseason without a preseason, the Dolphins will have way more questions to answer than the Patriots. It’s safe to say that New England has more experience than Miami, and for that reason I have them getting the win in Week 1.
Michael Yero, Dolphins Writer
17-14 New England: As I said in a 305Talks episode earlier in the offseason, the Patriots have my uttermost respect in Week 1 games. Since 2003, Bill Belichick’s squad holds a 15-3 (83.3 percent) record in season-openers. Of course, things have changed, as New England now adapts to Cam Newton’s style of play. But the same goes for Miami.
With a newly furnished secondary and front five, it’ll be a battle of two teams trying to learn each other with no chance to play preseason snaps. While I’m confident the Dolphins will have an opportunity to compete for a healthy spot in the division, I believe their 2020 season opener will be contrary to my statement.
Scott Cusick, Dolphins Writer
20-17 Miami: This season, I am looking at Miami with more questions than I’ve had in over a decade. I literally have no clue who the Dolphins are. What our identity will be offensively or defensively. But I do know this, they will be better.
With strategic upgrades at key positions in the offseason and not just swinging for big names or flashy available picks like Suh or Ginn Jr, they’re not only better, they’re smarter. Finally, the fresh new higher-ups took the Money ball approach.
With Week 1 or “Patriots week” days away, my eye was on the Dolphins release of their first unofficial depth chart. Notably the offensive line. Old and young faces such as former Georgia star Solomon Kindley, who has impressed coaches in training camp. Miami will need the 6-foot-4 330-pound guard to help keep the old man Ryan Fitzpatrick upright.
Now, we all see Miami every season making Patriot fans Arrhythmia act up when the Dolphins pull off what seems to now be an annual shocking win vs the Pats. If Miami gave them fits with Brady at quarterback, I don’t see how it couldn’t be worse with what’s surely a downgrade at QB in Newton.
I see the Fish taking this one up north with an improved defense and more solid O-line play to allow the run game to actually contribute this season.
Austin Ramos, Dolphins Writer
27-21 Miami: The Dolphins organization is being surrounded with an optimistic feeling about the possible success they could have this upcoming season. That feeling comes from the late success found in 2019 and a good job in the free agency and draft process. It reassures the fan base and general fans around the league that they are heading in the right direction.
I expect the Dolphins to win this game. It will be a tightly contested game no doubt. The Patriots are still a tough team to face twice a year but with no preseason it has not allowed the offense to adjust to Cam’s playstyle.
With Ryan Fitzpatrick’s knowledge of Chan Gailey’s offense and the defensive additions over the offseason, the Dolphins should come out on top.
This should be an interesting game to watch but don’t get too ahead and take the results of this game to shape what you think the final outcome of the season will be. Just look back to the first game of 2019 to help process that.
Kyle Murphy, Dolphins Writer
28-24 Miami: The biggest storyline out of Foxboro has obviously been the signing of former league MVP Cam Newton to replace long-time quarterback Tom Brady for the Patriots.
A story that has gotten some attention but not as much is the fact that the team lost a lot of its defense from last year and has an inexperienced line-backing core. This plays right into where I feel like the Dolphins improved the most this off-season, the running game. With a revamped offensive line and new backs Jordan Howard and Matt Brieda, I expect Brian Flores to come out with a little more smash-mouth football and control the pace when they get the ball.
On the defensive side of the ball, I think the Dolphins have a chance to be a top-10 defense in the league this season. With the question of Xavier Howard’s health in the air, it would be hard to see them play to their full potential in week one. That being said, the team has been raving about how Noah Igbinoghene and how the Dolphins’ first-round draft pick prepares off the field. The team also added All-Pro Bryon Jones.
The signings of Shaq Lawson and Kyle Van Noy should increase the pass rush and while Newton still adjusts to his new scheme and the extra pressure should lead to rushed decisions and mistakes.