The post Tom Brady-era in New England began with a win powered by an offense different from the one we’re used to seeing the Patriots play.
Cam Newton ran 15 times for 75 yards and two touchdowns and the defense picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick three times on the way to a 21-11 win over the Dolphins. The last of those interceptions came in the end zone by cornerback J.C. Jackson just after the two minute warning.
Newton opened the scoring in the second quarter, found the end zone again early in the second half and had he team driving for another score when wide receiver N'Keal Harry fumbled the ball out of the end zone for a touchback. The Dolphins followed that up with their only touchdown drive of the game and Fitzpatrick ran for a two-pointer to cut the lead to three points.
The ensuing drive saw Newton hit Julian Edelman for 23 yards and run for 17 more to set up a Sony Michel rushing touchdown. Newton was 15-of-19 for 155 yards through the air and the Patriots ran for 217 yards overall. Michel, Edelman, Rex Burkhead, James White, and rookie J.J. Taylor all got carries, but Newton ended the day as the team’s leading rusher.
That wasn’t the way things went when Brady was running the offense, but it’s a new world in New England and it was a winning one on Sunday.