3 things we learned from Patriots Week 4 win over Dolphins - Metro US

3 things we learned from Patriots Week 4 win over Dolphins

New England Patriots Sony Michel
New England Patriots running back Sony Michel. (Photo: Getty Images)

1. The AFC East still runs through Foxborough

The Patriots (2-2) hadn’t lost three games in a row since 2002 and the last time they didn’t win their JV division was way back in 2008 when Miami took it. It’s only one game in Week 4 but New England couldn’t have done much more in a 38-7 blowout victory to calm their nervous fan base after a sketchy start to their 2018 campaign.

Conversely, after a 3-0 start, the Dolphins reverted back to their usual form of complete frauds as they only avoided a shutout with a garbage-time touchdown by the ghost of Frank Gore with 2:42 left in regulation. On the day before October begins, Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill (11-for-20, 100 yards, 1 INT, sacked twice) turned into a pumpkin with a dreadful performance. Does it get much more embarrassing than being pulled for Brock Osweiler in the fourth quarter? Woof. These teams will meet again in Miami in Week 14 and there is no way it is this much of a one-sided affair that time around.

2. Sony Michel might not be such a regrettable draft pick after all

It’s tough to label someone a bust two games into an NFL career, but such is the hot take world that we live in these days. Patriots rookie running back Sony Michel was a first-round pick for a reason (31st overall) and it takes a high level of talent to be one of Georgia’s all-time best running backs in school history.

After missing Week 1 vs. Houston and making his debut in Week 2 at Jacksonville, he looked tentative and without much of a burst (understandable since his knee was drained in training camp) as he was held to just 84 yards on 24 carries. Right away though, he was a completely different guy on Sunday against the Dolphins as he racked up 112 yards on 25 carries including a 10-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

He became New England’s first rookie running back in exactly six years (Brandon Bolden on Sept. 30, 2012) to eclipse 100 yards rushing. He’ll need many more games like this to justify the Pats’ decision to draft him so high but at least he appears to be on the right track now.

3. Let the Josh Gordon era officially begin

After being a healthy scratch last week in Detroit, wide receiver Josh Gordon made his much-anticipated debut in a Patriots uniform. He only played in 18 of 78 offensive snaps for the Patriots but had a measurable impact with a pair of catches for 32 yards (on 2 targets). He also drew a penalty and had a big-time block that helped James White run for a 22-yard touchdown in the second quarter when the Dolphins still had a pulse (that made it 17-0).

Keep in mind that Julian Edelman returns to the Pats tomorrow after serving his four-game PED suspension so suddenly Tom Brady’s (23-for-35, 274 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs) lack of weapons in the passing game looks like a thing of the past. After the win, Gordon said that “It’s a real home environment. I feel as comfortable as ever.”

That audible sigh you heard was from defensive coordinators around the NFL if Gordon can continue to get implemented into New England’s offense as the weeks go by this season.

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