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2021 Week 1 Primer: Dolphins at Patriots

Getting you ready for Sunday’s Week 1 matchup.

Atlanta Falcons v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots are preparing for a Week 1 showdown in the AFC East. As the 2021 NFL season gets ready to kickoff, we take a look at some of the top storylines from both teams, as well as how they stack up - using 2020 stats. We also have the TV and radio information, weather forecast, odds, and more for you.

Game: Miami Dolphins (0-0) at New England Patriots (0-0)

Date/Time: Sept. 12, 2021 / 4:25pm ET

Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA

Series Leader: Dolphins 56-52

Streak: Dolphins have won two of last three

Coaches vs. Opponent: Brian Flores (MIA): 2-2; Bill Belichick (NE): 26-18

TV Broadcast: CBS (Kevin Harlan, Trent Green); NFL Sunday Ticket Channel 715

Radio Broadcast: Dolphins Radio Network, including WQAM 560 AM, KISS 99.9 FM, and WQBA 1140 AM (Spanish) in Dade/Broward; WUUB 106.3 FM and WEFL 760 AM (Spanish) in West Palm/Treasure Coast; ESPN 580 AM in Orlando; WRXK 96 FM in Ft. Myers; WPSL 1590 AM in Port St. Lucie; WKWF 1600 AM in Key West; Broadcasters are Jimmy Cefalo, Joe Rose, and Jason Taylor. Sirius channels: 134 (Dolphins), 81 (Patriots); XM Channels: 318 (Dolphins), 226 (Patriots)

SB Nation: Pats Pulpit (@PatsPulpit)

Weather: Sunny, 82°F degrees

Odds: Patriots -3.0

Referee: Clete Blakeman

Dolphins notes:

  • Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa passed for 1,814 yards and had 14 touchdowns (11 passing, 3 rushing) versus 5 interceptions as rookie in 2020, joining Jeff Kemp as only rookie quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era with at least one TD pass with no interceptions in each of his first five career starts. Completed 20 of 26 passes (76.9-percent) and rushed for career-best two touchdowns in last meeting.
  • Running back Myles Gaskin led team with career highs in scrimmage yards (972) & rush yards (584) last season. Had 66 scrimmage yards (40 rush, 26 receiving) in last road meeting. Has 432 scrimmage yards (108 per game) in his past four games on road.
  • Running back Malcolm Brown makes his Miami debut. Brown had a career-high 581 scrimmage yards (419 rush, 162 rec.) with Los Angeles Rams in 2020.
  • Wide receiver DeVante Parker led Miami in catches (63) & receiving yards (793) last season. He is aiming for his third consecutive AFC East divisional game with at last seven catches & 115+ receiving yards.
  • Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle was selected sixth overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
  • Tight end Mike Gesicki set career highs in catches (53), receiving yards (703) & receiving touchdowns (6) in 2020.
  • Cornerback Xavien Howard led the NFL in both interceptions (10) and passes defensed (20) last season, becoming the first player with 10-or-more interceptions in season since Antonio Cromartie (10 in 2007). Since 2016, Howard ranks second in NFL with 22 interceptions. He recorded a forced fumble in his last meeting with the Patriots. Howard has interceptions in three of his past four games against the AFC East.
  • Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah led the team with a career-best nine sacks in 2020. He recorded a sack in the last meeting with New England.
  • Linebacker Jerome Baker was one of two players (Devin White) with 100+ tackles (111) & 7+ sacks (7) last season.
  • Cornerback Jason McCourty makes his Miami debut. He recorded 148 tackles, 19 passes defensed & two INTs in the past three seasons, all with New England (2018-20).

Patriots notes:

  • Quarterback Mac Jones was selected 15th overall in 2021 NFL Draft & became the first quarterback selected in the first round by New England since Drew Bledsoe (first overall) in 1993.
  • Running back Damien Harris led the Patriots with a career-high 691 rush yards in 2020. Aims for his third game in row versus a divisional opponent with at least 70 rushing yards.
  • Running back James White leads all active running backs in catches (369), receiving yards (3,184) & receiving touchdowns (25). Had 52 receiving yards in the last meeting with Miami.
  • Wide receiver Jakobi Meyers led New England with career bests in catches (59) & receiving yards (729) in 2020. He had 7 catches for 111 yards in last meeting with the Dolphins.
  • Wide receiver Nelson Agholor makes his New England debut. He had career high 896 receiving yards last season with Las Vegas. Agholor had five catches for a career-high 155 yards a touchdown in his last game versus Miami (12/26/20 with Las Vegas).
  • Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne makes his New England debut. He set career bests in receptions (49) & receiving yards (667) in 2020 with San Francisco. He had a touchdown catch in his only career game versus Miami (10/11/20 with San Francisco).
  • Tight end Hunter Henry makes his New England debut. He had a career-best 60 catches in 2020 with the Los Angeles Chargers. He recorded a touchdown catch in two of his three career games versus Miami.
  • Tight end Jonnu Smith makes his New England debut. He ranks third among AFC tight ends with a career-high 8 receiving touchdowns in 2020 with Tennessee.
  • Cornerback J.C. Jackson ranked second in the NFL with a career-best nine interceptions in 2020 and is the only player with at least five interceptions in each of the past two seasons. He is aiming for his third straight game against Miami with an interception.
  • Linebacker Matt Judon makes his New England debut. He is one of three linebackers (Khalil Mack and T.J. Watt) with at least six sacks in each of the past four seasons.
  • Linebacker Kyle Van Noy had 69 tackles, 6 sacks and a career-high 10 tackles for a loss in 2020 with Miami.

Patriots vs. Dolphins 2021 Week 18 Leaders

Patriots at Dolphins
Patriots at Dolphins
W, 50-10 vs. JAguars Last Week L, 34-2 at Titans
27.4 (8th) Points For 19.3 (24th)
351.8 (16th) Offense (Yards per game) 307.6 (25th)
Mac Jones (R) (332/491, 3,540 yds, 21 TD, 12 INT, 92.5 rate) Passing Leader Tua Tagovailoa (248/366, 2,544 yds, 15 TD, 10 INT, 89.8 rate)
Damien Harris (191 carries, 892 yds, 4.7 avg, 14 TD) Rushing Leader Myles Gaskin (172 carries, 613 yds, 3.6 avg, 3 TD)
Jacobi Meyers (71 rec, 796 yds, 10.1 avg, 2 TD) Receiving Leader Jaylen Waddle (R) (99 rec, 988 yds, 10.0 avg, 5 TD)
16.9 (1st) Points Against 21.8 (16th)
311.6 (3rd) Defense (Yards allowed per game) 334.9 (15th)
Matthew Judon (12.5) Sacks Emmanuel Ogbah (9)
J.C. Jackson (8) Interceptions Xavien Howard (4)
+10 (30/20) Takeaway/Giveaway -3 (23/26)
Jake Bailey (47.3 avg, 39.6 net avg) Punting Michael Palardy (44.3 avg, 39.7 net avg)
Nick Folk (144 pts (NFL lead), 39/44 PAT, 35/38 FG) Kicking Jason Sanders (94 pts, 31/32 PAT, 21/29 FG)