New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins: Tyreek Hill, Tua Tagovailoa, Mac Jones among players to watch in season opener

New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins kick off the first NFL Sunday of the season – live on Sky Sports NFL at 6 p.m. – with Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers (9:25 p.m.) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys (1:20 a.m., Monday) completing the triple in -action header

Last update: 09/11/22 8:18 p.m.

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As the new season is about to begin, catch the NFL action live Sunday at 6 p.m. on Sky Sports

As the new season is about to begin, catch the NFL action live Sunday at 6 p.m. on Sky Sports

The first NFL Sunday of the season is fast approaching, with the New England Patriots’ divisional clash with the Miami Dolphins kicking off the season-opening triple header on Sky Sports.

Much is expected of Miami and its star-studded roster in 2022, and so a clash with its fiercest rivals the AFC East – and six-time Super Bowl winners – New England represents a convenient early test of its credentials. in the playoffs.

Here, we take a look at the five keys to Miami’s Sunday night season opener…

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What does Hill look like in his new home?

For Tyreek Hill, Miami gave up a first-round pick, a second, two quarterbacks and a sixth — then made him the highest-paid receiver in the league. It’s fair to say that much is expected of the former Kansas City Chiefs star receiver.

Watch some of the best plays from former Kansas City chief Tyreek Hill and new Miami Dolphins teammate Jaylen Waddle

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Watch some of the best plays from former Kansas City chief Tyreek Hill and new Miami Dolphins teammate Jaylen Waddle

Watch some of the best plays from former Kansas City chief Tyreek Hill and new Miami Dolphins teammate Jaylen Waddle

Is there a more transformative offensive asset in the NFL than Hill? He played in six consecutive Pro Bowls and was named a first-team All-Pro three times while tallying 67 touchdowns during his six years at KC.

How is he doing now in Miami? He had arguably the best quarterback in the game, Patrick Mahomes, throwing football at him for the Chiefs. Much of his success hinges on whether his new quarterback in Miami takes the plunge.

Can Tua step up this season?

As evidenced by Hill’s addition to this Miami offense this offseason, Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has no more excuses heading into his third season.

Can Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa make the move this season?

Can Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa make the move this season?

After a disappointing few years to start in the NFL – a 13−8 record as a starter, compiling a modest 212.8 passing yards per game, with 27 touchdown passes for 15 interceptions – the talk is that Tua must take this talented roster short of the playoffs in order to keep his job in 2023.

That may sound extreme, but think back to the flirtations the Dolphins have had with Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson and Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that have played out in public since he was drafted with the fifth overall pick. 2020 total. NFL Draft.

A strong start to the season, and in particular a victory over Miami’s bitterest division rivals, will go a long way to taking some of the pressure off his shoulders.

Is McDaniel’s head coach material?

Mike McDaniel, Miami’s new man in charge, might not have been the Dolphins’ first choice for the job — with Brady at QB, the property was apparently making a big push this offseason to bring in the former coach — New Orleans Saints leader Sean Payton.

Mike McDaniel is the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins

Mike McDaniel is the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins

That said, McDaniel is hot property in the NFL as a promising offensive prodigy by a coach after his stint with the San Francisco 49ers as their first running game coordinator before taking charge of the entire offense, overseeing their run to the NFC Championship. game last season.

The 49ers ultimately lost to the Los Angeles Rams of Sean McVay, the very man who started the trend for teams to literally seek out “the next McVay” in head coaching, essentially the next young coach who can transform their offensive. McDaniel and all his adventurous play calls and scheming could be the perfect fit for Miami to see him achieve similar success — and perhaps one day catapult them to a Super Bowl win like McVay did last year.

Who is calling the games for the Patriots?

For once, there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Patriots. Specifically, Bill Belichick and his offensive coaching staff.

Matt Patricia was previously the head coach of the Detroit Lions, but is now an offensive line coach with the New England Patriots.

Matt Patricia was previously the head coach of the Detroit Lions, but is now an offensive line coach with the New England Patriots.

After missing the playoffs in 2020 for the first time in 12 years and only the fourth time in their six-time Super Bowl-winning head coach’s 22-year tenure, the Patriots appeared to be firmly back on track. last season, with rookie quarterback Mac Jones leading them to a wild card spot.

That being said, the Bills wiped them out 47-17 in their playoff game and Jones’ development could be affected by the loss of offensive guru coordinator Josh McDaniels, who defected to lead the Las Vegas Raiders.

Joe Judge was previously the head coach of the New York Giants, but he is now the quarterback coach of the New England Patriots.

Joe Judge was previously the head coach of the New York Giants, but he is now the quarterback coach of the New England Patriots.

Taking his place, it is not yet known whether offensive line coach Matt Patricia or quarterback coach Joe Judge will take on the role of New England’s new point guard on offense. Patricia was previously their defensive coordinator and Judge their special teams coach, before becoming head coaches of the Detroit Lions and New York Giants, respectively. They have since returned to familiar surroundings but have never been tasked with carrying out an offense before. Worrying.

Signs of a second year of crisis for Jones?

That uncertainty about offensive ownership can’t exactly provide ideal preparation for sophomore quarterback Mac Jones.

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones has been impressive in his rookie season

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones has been impressive in his rookie season

The Alabama quarterback was very impressive in his first season in the NFL, at one point even being touted for possible Rookie of the Year honors until the sensational feats Ja’Marr Chase for the Cincinnati Bengals assures him of a fight.

Jones threw for 3,801 yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in leading the Patriots to the playoffs a year ago, but how can he keep up with that in what often turns out to be a tricky second season for many, when Opposing teams build a swath of play on your game, become wise in your ways and find ways to exploit your weaknesses?

Jones is an unflappable character, which is why he was so successful as a rookie. Can he continue to maintain his advice and even improve in 2022?



New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins: Tyreek Hill, Tua Tagovailoa, Mac Jones among players to watch in season opener

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