New Look Patriots Start Season in Miami

The Patriots open the season on Monday night in a division matchup with the Miami Dolphins.  In spite of their 14-2 regular season record, the early exit from the playoffs was well below the loft expectations in New England, and so the Patriots got busy trying to reload for a Super Bowl run.

The Patriots traded for six-time Pro Bowl receiver Chad Ochocinco, to add his talents to Wes Welker and Deion Branch, as well as tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.  Brady and his talented receiving corps will face off against Miami cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Sean Smith, who Davis has claimed are the best tandem in the league.

Tom Brady
Tom Brady (Photo by Keith Allison)

The also added Albert Haynesworth and Shaun Ellis to bolster the defensive front seven.  The bar is very high in New England, and a 14-2 regular season but an early departure from the playoffs is not good enough.  In fact, they are the only organization in sports to know what it feels like to be perfect in the regular season and to not win a championship.

“You realize how tough it is to win games over the years,” Brady said on the Patriots’ official website. “And I think that when you’re out there as a veteran player and you provide the leadership for the team because you’ve been experienced — I’ve been experienced in this program — we’re hoping to go out there every year and put together a winning season. It’s frustrating when we don’t do that.”

The Dolphins are relying on Chad Henne at quarterback, who certainly is no Tom Brady.  Henne faced a quarterback controversy and fans chanting for another quarterback during preseason games.

But he did throw for over 3300 yards last season, and now has the added weapon of Reggie Bush in the backfield with him, in addition to Brandon Marshall coming off a 1,000-yard season last year.

While the Patriots are a solid favorite, anything can happen in an early season divisional battle.  Just ask Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers.

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