The New England Patriots almost never lose on opening day, and certainly not to a divisional rival, so Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins is seen by many as a possible changing of the guard in the AFC East.
The Patriots had a 10-point halftime lead against the Miami Dolphins, a lead that Tom Brady rarely relinquishes, but the Dolphins stormed back for 23-point outburst, holding the Patriots scoreless in a 33-20 loss.
It was the first time the New England Patriots lost a season opener since 2003, and the first time since Week 3 of 2012 that they didn’t have at least a share of first place in the division.
“They took away everybody in the second half,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said.
It was a game that few thought the Miami Dolphins could win — except their own players.
“Nobody else gave us a shot,” Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon said. “Just glad we got this win.”
Though the New England Patriots are expected to still win the AFC East, they have been showing some chinks in the armor lately. Tom Brady has seen his performance drop, though he still remains one of the league’s best quarterbacks.
But some believe Brady’s days with the Patriots could actually be numbered. The team recently traded longtime offensive lineman Logan Mankins, proving again that no player is sacred under coach Bill Belichick. There are now rumblings around the league that Brady himself could be on the trade block one day.
“There comes a time for a lot of people. Michael Jordan played for the Wizards,” Brady said in an interview with NFL Network interview with Andrea Kremer. “Who would have ever imagined that? Joe Montana played for the Chiefs and Randy Moss, one of the greatest players ever, played for four teams.”
But while the New England Patriots could finally be on the decline, the Miami Dolphins appear to be a team on the rise. They seem to have finally found a franchise starter in Ryan Tannehill and have a tenacious defense that would be capable of winning the AFC East.
[Images Via Boston Globe]