Panic? What panic? Well, there was a little -- a lot? -- after last week's debacle in Detroit. So when the Dolphins and their 3-0 record came to town today, people were eager to see how the Patriots would respond. And how did they respond? Need you even ask . . .
The Patriots smoked a not-very-good Dolphins team that we may have been overrating in our panic about New England's 1-2 start. Thing was a bloodbath. Final score was 38-7, but the Dolphins didn't even get on the board until garbage time.
Brock Osweiler played.
How that was a "statement win" or something like that. Some might (perhaps correctly) argue that the Dolphins were so spectacularly unimpressive Sunday that they still don't know what to make of the Patriots and their season.
Oh yeah they did.
It did! Third time's a charm, baby.
After looking worse than his so-so numbers suggests over his first two NFL games, Michel was dynamite from the jump. He had runs of 14 and 13 yards, respectively, on consecutive carries on New England's opening drive and finished the game with 112 yards on 25 carries with a touchdown.
Rob Gronkowski left the game with an ankle injury.
Josh Gordon played and had a neat catch on third down in the first quarter. Folks were jazzed about it. He also had a nice 19-yard play in the third quarter that saw him fend off a couple of tacklers.
The big news with the wide receivers, however, is that Cordarrelle Patterson did something. Patterson, who hadn't caught a touchdown pass since 2016 prior to the game, made a lot of people miss after the catch on a 55-yard scoring play in the second quarter. Wasn't all good, though. He did fall down in the backfield when no one touched him again. He's really got to work on that.
Philip Dorsett had an amazing catch for a touchdown at the end of the second quarter, but dropped a deep pass early in the third. He was also the intended receiver on a pick thrown by Brady in the first half, and though the ball wasn't close to Dorsett, it marked two straight weeks in which Brady's been picked trying to get the ball to No. 13.
They didn't miss him at all because the Patriots' receivers played well and Danny Amendola might be the most overrated contributor of this entire run of success in New England. Don't let nicknames fool you. Amendola only led the team in receiving yards in two of his 13 playoff games.
Two games is too early to definitively assess a running back who did not have a preseason.