How did the running game look with the new offense that was installed? Which wide receiver would step up and be quarterback Mac Jones’ go-to receiver this year?
It was a long and hot day in Miami for the season opener against the Dolphins. Going into the game, the Patriots wondered if wide receiver Jakobi Meyers and running back Ty Montgomery would be activated and play in the game, and both did, so the Patriots had their full group of backs and receivers outside of the injured Tyquan Thornton. In this article, we will recap the game and see what players stepped up and delivered.
Which Patriots Running Back Shined Against The Dolphins?
Going into the 2022 season, after running back James White’s retirement, there were questions about who the key anchor of the rushing attack would be. On the first drive, it was running back Damien Harris pounding the football and nearly averaging five to seven yards a carry helping them down the field only to have the team turn the ball over on an interception. Then the team turned to running back Rhamondre Stevenson who seemed to struggle to get solid yards consistently.
Running Back Damien Harris ended up with nine carries for only 48 yards while running back Rhamondre Stevenson rushed for twenty-five yards on eight carries. While both had some great runs, the biggest bright spot in the backfield was Ty Montgomery, as he scored the Patriot’s only Points of the day when he caught a six-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mac Jones early in the third quarter. His versatility could be super useful to the team, especially in the absence of White. The struggles of the backs overall did have some roots in the poor offensive line performance.
Patriots Wide Receivers Struggle In The Heat Against The Dolphins.
It was a long day for the Patriots wide receivers on Sunday against Miami as they had trouble making clutch plays. Wide receiver Jakobi Meyers proved time and time in the game to be the only receiver making plays, being both dependable and explosive, catching four passes for fifty-five yards. Wide receiver Nelson Agholor showed his route speed with a seventeen-yard circus catch for a first down extending a drive. However, Agholor finished the game with three receptions for only twenty-eight yards, and wasn’t able to capitalize on his downfield explosiveness.
Most of the day, the Patriots were struggling with the deep ball down the field. However, there was one big exception. For most of the game wide receiver Kendrick Bourne was missing, but on his second play and only target quarterback Mac Jones found him streaking down the field for a forty-one-yard completion that would prove to be his only reception of the game. Devante Parker had some positive moments, and looks poised to make and impact, but mostly struggled in a difficult matchup with star CB Xavien Howard.
It was a long day for both the running game and wide receivers on Sunday in their 20-7 loss to the Miami Dolphins. For the Patriots to be successful and compete for a playoff spot, they will have to get more production from the likes of running backs Harris and Stevenson. Wide receivers Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor need to show up consistently as well to be successful this year, and Mac will have to find chemistry with his newest weapon Devante Parker. There will have to be improvements in offensive line play and offensive playcalling to bring the most out of these two personnel groups.
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