What We Saw: Week 1

The QB List team recaps everything you missed while you were glued to the couch watching Red Zone

Patriots @ Dolphins

Final Score: Dolphins 20, Patriots 7

Writer: Ben Brown (@BenBrownPL on Twitter)

 

After spending the entire week in Miami to get acclimated to the hot Miami weather, the New England Patriots struggled to put together anything on offense en route to a tough loss to the Dolphins. This game was won on two plays – a strip sack, scoop and score by the Dolphins, and a fourth down catch and run by Jaylen Waddle near the end of the first half. Neither QB shined, but Tua Tagovailoa did enough to lead his team to victory.

 

New England Patriots

 

Quarterback

 

Mac Jones: 21/30, 213 Yards, TD, INT | 2 Carries, 0 Yards, Fumble (Lost)

 

This offense was rolling early on. Mac Jones and the New England offense drove down the field on the opening drive of the game, and the offense looked like shades of the 2021 Patriots. Mac looked to be in full control of the offense out of the gate.

 

 

Then, Mac was picked off on a nice defensive play

 

 

After this, the offense struggled to move the ball on a consistent basis. Mac faced constant pressure thanks to inconsistent play on the offensive line. Starting LT Trent Brown had a particularly bad game, as he looked slow and missed multiple assignments that led to either sacks or tackles for loss. Brown missed a block on a play that would result in a strip sack of Mac, leading to a touchdown by Melvin Ingram. Later in the game, Mac got hit from below and up top at the same time and came down awkwardly on his back. He wouldn’t miss a snap, but it was later reported that he had X-Rays after the game (which came back negative).

 

 

The injury is not an excuse for Mac’s mediocre performance in the box score. Mac actually wasn’t bad – he had a few really nice throws, including a 40+ yard bomb to Kendrick Bourne that landed right in the bread basket. His INT was knocked away by a defender into the hands of another defender, on what was either a really good defensive play or a pass-interference penalty that wasn’t called, depending on how you look at it.

 

 

As I’ve been saying all preseason, the OL is a problem for the Patriots and will negatively impact the fantasy output of New England’s skill players until the situation is figured out.

 

Running Back

 

Damien Harris: 9 Carries, 48 Yards | 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 10 Yards

Rhamondre Stevenson: 8 Carries, 25 Yards | 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 2 Yards

Ty Montgomery: 2 Carries, -2 Yards | 4 Targets, 3 Receptions, 15 Yards, TD

 

Surprisingly, Ty Montgomery was active for this one after getting carted off with an ankle injury in the preseason. He was the only Patriot to score on Sunday, barrel rolling into the end zone late in the third quarter.

 

 

Damien Harris looked explosive up the middle, and Rhamondre Stevenson looked equally explosive on two outside runs that he broke for long gains. Otherwise, they were bottled up. Harris out-snapped Stevenson 21-14, while Montgomery had 19. That’s an interesting development and something to watch next week in Pittsburgh. One of Rhamondre’s catches was nearly a backward pass, and even on replay it wasn’t immediately clear if the original call was correct. Look out for a potential stat correction there. Harris easily looked like the best back of the three today.

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

 

Jakobi Meyers: 6 Targets, 4 Receptions, 55 Yards | 1 Carry, 7 yards

Kendrick Bourne: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 41 Yards

Jonnu Smith: 4 Targets, 3 Receptions, 33 Yards

Nelson Agholor: 5 Targets, 3 Receptions, 28 Yards, 1 Fumble (Lost)

Hunter Henry: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 20 Yards

DeVante Parker: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 9 Yards

 

Jakobi Meyers had a big brace on his leg after injuring it in the preseason, and he was a game-time decision coming into this one. He wound up being the most productive receiver for the Patriots, something we will probably see a lot more of this season. Sure, he’s not lightning fast like Nelson Agholor or a big-bodied playmaker like DeVante Parker, but he’s a favorite receiver of Mac Jones and that is worth something in fantasy football. Meyers went up to make an outstanding catch on the sideline, showing off some playmaker ability that’s really starting to show in his game.

Speaking of Agholor, he lost a fumble in a crucial spot of this game. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him in the dog house soon. And speaking of the dog house, Kendrick Bourne caught a gorgeous ball down the sideline for a 41 yard gain on one of his two snaps. Yes, Bourne only played two snaps. He was out-snapped by Lil’Jordan Humphrey. Not good.

DeVante Parker was targeted on Mac’s interception and was targeted on another deep ball later in the game on fourth down. That one didn’t count due to an illegal contact penalty against Miami, but Parker jumped too early and couldn’t come down with it regardless. We’ll see how he’s integrated into this offense in the coming weeks and if he’ll be anything more than just a deep ball option.

 

Miami Dolphins

 

Quarterback

 

Tua Tagovailoa: 23/33, 270 Yards, TD | 2 Carries, 0 Yards

 

The box score looks nice for Tua. It generally does. He is as unimpressive of a QB as you’ll ever watch, however, and his first throw of the game illustrates exactly why:

 

 

With that said, Tua did enough to lead the Dolphins to victory. He connected with Tyreek Hill early and often despite a couple of missed connections, and the duo was very effective against the New England defense. Tua led the Dolphins down the field for a ten-play, 92-yard drive to end the first half, capping it off with a beautiful throw to Jaylen Waddle who made a great play to take it to the house.

 

 

Tua’s ceiling is an above-average game manager. He came close to that ceiling today. As a Patriots fan, it’s frustrating to watch a less-talented QB look so good against a team led by the greatest coach in the history of the sport. Ultimately, when it comes down to it, this is all that matters:

 

 

Dolphins fans got the last laugh on Sunday once again.

 

Running Back

 

Chase Edmonds: 12 Carries, 25 Yards | 4 Targets, 4 Receptions, 40 Yards

Raheem Mostert: 5 Carries, 16 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 16 Yards

Alec Ingold: 1 Carry, 2 Yards | 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 8 Yards

 

Chase Edmonds had a hard time getting anything going on the ground beside a nine-yard end around for his first carry of the game. Through the air, however, he was a weapon, and it wasn’t just on third down. I was a little surprised that Edmonds wasn’t used more in this game, as he was able to find space anytime they threw it his way. There might be something there this year.

The other half of the two-headed monster was Raheem Mostert, who also looked good in his few touches. The Patriots did a good job of bottling up runs up the middle, which is where the Dolphins kept trying to send Edmonds, but Mostert was able to get outside a couple of times and hit the ground running. For whatever reason, even late in the game, the Dolphins insisted on throwing the ball instead of running the clock out. It didn’t end up mattering for the result of the game, but it did mean there weren’t any garbage time opportunities for Mostert or Edmonds on the ground. It was an interesting choice.

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Tyreek Hill: 12 Targets, 8 Receptions, 94 Yards | 1 carry, 6 yards

Jaylen Waddle: 5 Targets, 4 Receptions, 69 Yards | 1 Carry, 8 Yards

Cedrick Wilson Jr.: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 20 Yards | 1 Carry, 8 yards

Durham Smythe: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 14 Yards

Trent Sherfield: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 8 Yards

Mike Gesicki: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 1 Yard

 

Tyreek Hill was Tua Tagovailoa‘s first look on almost every play, and his twelve targets easily led the team. There were no deep shots, but Hill found plenty of open space to rack up yards against the New England defense. At one point, Hill made a spectacular leaping grab over rookie corner Jack Jones. The Patriots kept Hill out of the end zone and didn’t let him break a big play, something they’ve usually were able to do whenever they faced the Chiefs, so it’s not surprising that they let him eat underneath while preventing the big plays.

 

 

Many of us were worried about what the Tyreek addition would do to Jaylen Waddle‘s usage, and if Sunday was any indication of what was to come then we will all regret drafting Waddle in the 3rd/4th round this season. Waddle was a nonfactor for most of the first half – I honestly forgot he was on the team until someone in our Discord asked where he was. He finally showed up with his first target at the 2:22 mark in the 2nd quarter, and later in the drive he broke out for a long touchdown catch (Seen above) to salvage his fantasy day. Time will tell if this usage pattern will stick for Waddle, but so far it’s a bit of a disappointment if you roster him.

One note on Cedrick Wilson Jr., his lone carry was actually a backward pass.

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