Sports Q

Sports Q: What was the biggest surprise from the Patriots’ opener?

It doesn't have to be Mac Jones related.

Two Patriots fans with a sign combo for Mac Jones. Jim Davis/The Boston Globe

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What was the biggest surprise from the Patriots’ loss to the Dolphins?

Hmmm. Seems pretty obvious to me – it has to be the undisciplined mistakes they made, from four fumbles (two lost, including Damien Harris’s late backbreaker) to the eight accepted penalties, including three that were essentially for unnecessary roughness.

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 If they had played with the discipline that we’re used to from Bill Belichick-coached teams, they’d be 1-0 and leading the AFC East this morning. I’d venture to guess they won’t have a sloppier game the rest of the season.

I suppose it’s somewhat encouraging that the sloppy play wasn’t due to the performance of their rookie quarterback, Mac Jones. He was tough, poised, commanding, accurate … everything you were hoping to see in his debut. He made one blunder on the first series, that weird, panicked throw (ruled a fumble) to Jonnu Smith behind the line of scrimmage, which cost them 13 yards. But otherwise, he looked like he’d been around awhile. Can’t wait to see what he looks like when he actually has been around awhile.  

Other surprises? Nelson Agholor had a quiet camp and has been dealing with an ankle injury, so it was somewhat unexpected that he would contribute as much as he did (five catches, 72 yards, and a touchdown). I thought tight ends Smith and Hunter Henry would play a few more snaps than they did, but they were fairly effective, with a combined eight catches on eight targets for 72 yards. I thought Jalen Mills looked good as the second corner, and I was worried he would be the weak link with Stephon Gilmore out.

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But what does everyone else think? What was the biggest surprise from the Patriots’ opener? I’ll hear you in the comments.

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