It was probably too soon to believe Miami was different. It was definitely too soon to think the New England was.
The Patriots rolled to an easy 38-7 win over the Dolphins, erasing any doubts their 1-2 start had created, and bringing new doubts to the Dolphins’ 3-0 mark entering the game.
Simply put, it was an #asexpected result if you look at long-range trends rather than being slaves to the moment.
The Patriots played the kind of defense that had not this season, limiting the Dolphins to 172 total yards. They particularly frustrated quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who was pulled in the fourth quarter once they were down by 38.
Tannehill was 11-of-20 for 100 yards, was sacked twice and picked off once before yielding to Brock Osweiler.
The Patriots also broke out of some ruts offensively. Rookie running back Sony Michel ran for 112 yards, easily his best game of the year. With the running game working, the Patriots offense was back in sync, with Tom Brady moving it around among all his targets, including twice to new wide receiver Josh Gordon.
The only concerns for the Patriots after this one will be medical. Tight end Rob Gronkowski left with an ankle injury, and both defensive tackle Adam Butler and linebacker Elandon Roberts walked gingerly off the field during the late stages.