Curran: 'Cataclysmic breakdowns' cost Patriots vs. Dolphins

·2 min read

Curran: 'Cataclysmic breakdowns' cost Patriots vs. Dolphins originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots had a promising opening drive in Sunday's regular-season opener, but it was all downhill from there in the 20-7 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Any momentum New England had was lost when Dolphins safety Jevon Holland picked off Mac Jones in the end zone. That marked the first of several costly mistakes on both sides of the ball in Week 1.

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Jones turned the ball over again with a fumble later in the game and wideout Nelson Agholor lost a fumble of his own. Conversely, the Patriots' defense failed to capitalize on multiple errant throws by Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa that should have resulted in interceptions.

Those plays could have helped the Patriots escape Miami with a victory, but our Tom E. Curran isn't buying the glass-half-full mindset.

"There's going to be a lot of 'lipstick on a pig' conversation. 'The Patriots were close. They had an opportunity. It could've gone better but it didn't.' I look at this and it's an average Miami team they lose to, and the Patriots are in a situation where it's not just a play here and there, it's kind of cataclysmic breakdowns," Curran said on Postgame Live.

"I anticipated them to look much better than they did. I was not surprised at their opening drive. I thought they'd have a good plan. But the mistakes that we've kind of presaged with communication on the offensive line, we saw the mistakes in tackling that happened in the preseason game that involved Ja'Whaun Bentley and Kyle Dugger. Those things showed up today.

"Some of the better players were involved in some of the bigger mistakes, and that's why I say Bill Belichick saying at halftime, 'If it weren't for a couple of turnovers then it'd be a field goal game,' that's really whistling past the graveyard."

As Curran notes, the Patriots' issues in Week 1 were a familiar sight. Throughout camp and preseason, we've seen deficiencies on the offensive line that have negatively impacted the offense as a whole. Matt Patricia and Joe Judge haven't inspired much optimism as de facto offensive coordinators, and the absence of Josh McDaniels was glaring again in Sunday's defeat.

The Patriots have plenty to clean up before they visit the Pittsburgh Steelers, who forced five turnovers in their Week 1 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Kickoff for the Week 2 showdown is set for 1 p.m. ET next Sunday.