Reason #2: Rookie QB
Big news came out last week that the Patriots would be naming Mac Jones as their starting quarterback, and in turn made a surprising release of former MVP Cam Newton. This was big news for the Dolphins and their Week 1 matchup.
Historically, mobile quarterbacks like Newton (and including Newton) have given the Dolphins’ defense fits. Couple that with the new tight end targets that New England acquired in the off season and Bill Belichick’s ability to use them, and Miami was looking at a daunting task in the first game of the season.
But instead it will be Jones who will be under center, whose mobility is average at best. But it won’t be his lack of speed that the Dolphins will try to take advantage of. Jones will be playing in his first ever NFL game, and will have to go up against a Brian Flores-led defense that specializes in hidden blitz packages that can cause mass confusion at the line of scrimmage. The rookie will have to keep his first game jitters and nerves to a minimum while also dealing with exotic defensive packages. Miami will look to feast.
There is a reason why Jones won the starting job, however. He will be the first ever rookie quarterback to start Week 1 under Belichick, and the coach saw enough from him to warrant releasing last year’s starter. Miami certainly should not overlook the first-year signal caller, but they’ll be ready to make Jones’ afternoon a living hell.