The New England Patriots’ season opener against the Miami Dolphins went as planned: the team had a lot of positive moments, and starts the season 1-0 after defeating its division rivals with a final score of 21-11. Along the way, the Patriots had multiple big plays. Which one, however, was the biggest? You be the judge!
Here are five plays that stood out on Sunday, and please make sure to vote for the winner below. The play with the most votes will be broken down in greater detail later during the week.
1.) Cam Newton’s first touchdown run
The Patriots’ first score of the season came courtesy of the team’s new quarterback: Cam Newton took the shotgun snap on a designed roll-out and thanks to some terrific blocking up front by tight end Ryan Izzo and right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor was able to take the football in for a 4-yard score.
2.) Adrian Phillips’ second-quarter interception
Adrian Phillips ends Miami’s drive. pic.twitter.com/SinH7vVzr4— Pats Pulpit (@patspulpit) September 13, 2020
The late second half saw the Dolphins crawl back into the game: they had forced two straight three-and-outs and also scored a field goal to make it a four-point game. With time winding down, they were again driving to potentially cut into the Patriots’ lead or even get ahead themselves. Then came Adrian Phillips, though. The free agency addition successfully dropped back into his zone without Miami quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick seeing him. Phillips’ interception ended the Dolphins’ rally late in the second quarter.
3.) Cam Newton’s second touchdown run
Newton looked good as a runner in his Patriots debut: he averaged 5.0 yards on his 15 carries, and also found the end zone twice. The second of his touchdowns came off play action, with him faking the handoff to Rex Burkhead only to roll out to his right for the score. A block by Shaq Mason allowed Newton to get free and break the plane from 11 yards out — the perfect ending to a very good opening drive in the third quarter.
4.) Patriots’ fourth down conversion with six minutes left
CAM BULLIES HIS WAY FOR A FIRST DOWN ON 4TH & 1!! pic.twitter.com/xs9CUYJljA— KÏŁŁÄ ČÄM (@FTBeard1) September 13, 2020
Midway through the fourth quarter, momentum was again shifting the Dolphins’ way: they caught a break when a N’Keal Harry fumble rolled through the end zone for a touchback, and answered by driving for their first touchdown of the day. New England, however, responded in style by marching to a score of its own — a drive that was kept alive thanks to a Cam Newton scamper on 4th-and-1.
5.) J.C. Jackson’s game-sealing interception
Late in the game and down 10 points, the Dolphins were still in the theoretical position to at least tie the contest. However, any hopes of a comeback were thwarted when J.C. Jackson intercepted a pass in the end zone. The third-year cornerback, who was specifically praised by head coach Bill Belichick after the game, peeled away from his man to pick off Ryan Fitzpatrick and seal New England’s victory.
With that said, what do you think was the Patriots’ best play on Sunday?
Which play was the Patriots’ best on Sunday?
This poll is closed
Newton’s first touchdown run
Newton’s second touchdown run
Patriots’ fourth down conversion
Jackson’s game-winning pick