Mac Jones

Patriots melt under the Miami sun

Let’s begin by citing what did not cause the Patriots’ loss Sunday to the over-rated Miami Dolphins:

It was not just because Bill Belichick hauled his team down to Florida last Tuesday. They practiced all week on a sub-par field, at a little college that doesn’t even have a football team, close enough to an airport that planes ascending, and descending threatened the welfare of the portable goal posts the Pats hauled in.

It was a supremely silly attempt by Belichick to acclimate his players to Florida’s heat. Or it was necessitated by Gillette Stadium concerts and renovations.

But was it the overriding reason why the Pats flew home as losers?

Nah.

Was it because of Matt Patricia’s play calling? Or was it something Joe Judge said? Or was it Belichick struggling to satisfy his obsessive need to stick his paws into anything and everything?

Eh, maybe a little bit of each.

But none of the above sparked the intermittent meltdowns that left the Patriots in a hole for nearly the entire afternoon.

They lost 20-7 on the merits. The Dolphins are not as good as they think they are. The Patriots were not good enough to burst Miami’s Opening Day bubble.

The first possession of the afternoon served as a keynote address. Mac Jones and his offense marched down the field with a precision seldom seen in these parts since You-Know-Who took his talents to Tampa Bay. Seven plays, 53 yards to the Miami 22, first-and-10 … and Jones gets picked.

He looked for DeVante Parker in the front corner of the end zone. Had he thrown it over Parker’s right shoulder it was likely a touchdown. Instead, Miami’s Xavien Howard tipped the ball to Jevon Holland, who returned it 31 yards.

A few moments later, the Dolphins got on the board with a field goal.

Miami’s lead ballooned to 10-0 when Dolphins safety Brandon Jones blitzed, completely unhindered, and made a strip sack Jones never saw coming, The Dolphins recovered and stepped into the end zone.

The Dolphins didn’t need anything more. Their next 10 points took away any delusions of a comeback from gullible Pats fans.

They lost to Miami … again.

The Pats did show spasms of adequacy. It could’ve been worse.

Then, after Jones failed to appear for his post-game press briefing, news broke that immediately after the game, Jones had his aching back x-rayed.

They may visit Pittsburgh next Sunday with Brian Hoyer at QB … or Bailey Zappe.

If that isn’t rock bottom, Jones’ pain will be shared across New England.

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