It’s going to be an unprecedented experience for the 6-time Super Bowl-winning coach, Bill Belichick. This is the first time in 20 years that he has to play in the league without a certain Tom Brady on his roster. Instead, Belichick will have the 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton to rely upon when they go up against Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins are starting their second-full season under Head Coach Brian Flores in 2020. Despite the arrival of a highly-rated rookie quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa, Flores named veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick as his starter for Week One.
Here’s a detailed look at both teams, along with injury updates and matchday predictions.
Apart from the Brady’s exit, the Patriots suffered another major blow this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Bill Belichick’s side saw eight players opt-out of the season for personal reasons. They start the year as underdogs in the AFC for the first time in almost two decades.
They’ve lost some big names apart in addition to TB12, such as Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy. But with Belichick as Head Coach, the team will undoubtedly push for a playoff spot. And Newton’s on-field relationship with WR Julian Edelman could prove crucial when they go up against the Dolphins in the opening week.
Miami Dolphins are the underdogs heading into this game. Coach Brian Flores had a sub-par start to his tenure with the Dolphins in 2019. He will be hoping to turn things around this year, having made some key changes in the offseason.
They lost safety Minkah Fitzpatrick who was phenomenal last season to Pittsburgh Steelers, but they did make some good moves in the 2020 NFL draft.
Hawaii-born Tua Tagovailoa was a star before he was even drafted by the Dolphins as the fifth-overall pick this year. But his lengthy absence due to injuries will see the Dolphins start the season with Ryan Fitzpatrick as QB.
‘Fitz Magic’ will be crucial for the Dolphins who go up against a quality AFC East side like the Patriots in Week One itself.
OL Yodny Cajuste – Knee
WR Gunner Olszewski – Foot
TE Dalton Keene – Neck
LB Cassh Maluia – Knee
WR N’Keal Harry – Shoulder
DL Chase Winovich – Shoulder
S Clayton Fejedelem – Pectoral
We expect Cam Newton and his band of speedsters to secure a win on opening day, with some trouble from Fitzpatrick of course. However, Belichick will be confident that his team can kick things into gear on a high.
Tagovailoa will be watching from the shadows as he learns from a veteran like Fitzpatrick. Flores might bring the youngster in midway through the season, or maybe even before that. We can’t wait to watch the youngster play in the NFL.