Instant analysis of Patriots’ ugly 20-7 season-opening loss to Dolphins

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A promising beginning nosedived into an ugly end for the New England Patriots in Sunday’s season-opener against the Miami Dolphins.

Quarterback Mac Jones and the offense moved the ball effortlessly on their first possession. The offensive line held up strong, running backs were finding holes and receivers were making plays.

Then Jones lobbed up a possible touchdown pass for wideout DeVante Parker, which was tipped away by Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard for an interception.

And that was pretty much the story for the rest of the game.

The Patriots fell victim to boneheaded penalties and turnovers. Jones was later strip sacked on a play that ended with Dolphins linebacker Melvin Ingram scooping up the ball and high-stepping it into the end zone.

And then Nelson Agholor coughed up a fumble on an attempted pass from Jones over the middle of the field late in the fourth quarter. Everything bad that could happen kept happening for the Patriots on Sunday.

Patriots defensive back Kyle Dugger had a tremendous game, and he flashed elite ability as a playmaker. Wideout Jakobi Meyers was Mr. Reliable for Jones and the offense as usual.

And defensive standout Matthew Judon lived in the offensive backfield with four quarterback hits and one sack.

However, this is going to be a tough loss to swallow for a Patriots team that looked exactly like they looked in the preseason at times. The road doesn’t get any easier with the Pittsburgh Steelers and their suffocating defense next on the itinerary.

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Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire