In past seasons, the Miami Dolphins have suffered from the best of Cam Newton’s abilities.
Whether it be in the air or on the ground, the 2015 MVP has wreaked havoc on Miami in their pair of meetings, posting 428 passing yards and 146 rushing yards, totaling 6 touchdowns. He won both games, outscoring the Dolphins 65-37.
With their most recent contest taking place in 2017, Sunday’s 1:00 p.m. season opener will be a new opportunity for Miami to introduce themselves to the realm of Newton, which has taken a shift to the AFC.
For starters, Newton’s taken the role of replacing Tom Brady in New England this offseason, a goal he’s cherished to prove himself following a disappointing past few seasons.
“I’m ready. I don’t think it’s pressure. Just do your job, and I know I plan on doing mine,” he said. “I know on opening day he’s not going to be worried about little ol’ me. I know on opening day I just have other things to be focusing on rather than who was here before me. I just know I’ve got to do right by my opportunity that I do get and make the most of it.”
Newton was recently named the offensive co-captain, a role that notes the respect and confidence coach Belichick has in his quarterback.
Regardless of his past accomplishments and the path to greatness he seeks, Newton’s first task at hand will be one that the Patriots have yet to have found the blueprint for in the last couple of years.
There’s just something about the Dolphins that limit the Patriots from its routine success.
Coach Brian Flores will look to translate that to the likes of Newton.
“We just kind of refer to the mobile quarterback rules,” Flores said on his strategy to limit the three-time Pro Bowler. “We want to keep them in a pocket. Obviously, Cam is very explosive; he’s a very accomplished and established player in the league. He’s made a lot of plays with his legs, with his arm. We want to keep him in the pocket, we want to try to limit those plays. At the same time, he’s going to create them in one way or another, that’s kind of been his M.O. over the course of his career.”
Like Flores said, keeping Newton in the pocket ultimately leads to the most struggle he’s faced in his pro career. Take into example Week 3 of the 2016 season, where he was slammed by the Minnesota Vikings’ front five, who sacked him eight times and forced three interceptions.
Similar circumstances have torn apart Newton’s once impossible to stop style of play, keeping him from earning another All-Pro selection. Of course, also struggling with injuries, the 31-year-old’s identity has began to be solved by numerous clubs.
Miami will look to add its name to that list.