Jerome Baker starred in the Miami Dolphins week one loss to New England.
The Miami Dolphins started the season with a loss to the New England Patriots, but there were a few players, like Jerome Baker, who played well despite the team losing.
It’s never a good feeling to start a season with a loss. Miami’s offense didn’t look great against division rival New England Patriots, but their defense looked a little better than the scoreline suggested. There were two potential players who earned my player of the game nod, and Jerome Baker just slightly edged out Christian Wilkins for that honor.
Baker had a good stat line, finishing with 16 tackles (13 solo), 1 sack, and a huge forced fumble that gave Miami a chance to get back into the game in the second half (all stats courtesy of ESPN.com). Baker was all over the place during this game, showing that he can be the playmaker that fans and coaches need at the linebacking position. He did have a personal foul call late in the game that was a bit questionable when he appeared to push off of the pile after a Cam Newton run.
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Baker’s biggest play of the game came on the forced fumble on Patriots wide receiver N’Keal Harry. Baker chased Harry down after a short pass and forced the young receiver to fumble the ball which bounced into the end zone for a touchback. This came at a point when Miami was down but certainly not out. Unfortunately, Miami’s offense was not able to put together a scoring drive. The offense’s poor play, however, doesn’t take away from the hustle and poise that Baker played with throughout the majority of this game.
Baker’s performance was more than enough to earn him this week’s Player of the Game award. If he can continue to play like that throughout the season, Miami’s defense will be significantly improved from last year’s poor showing.