The New England Patriots are riding high after a 21-11 victory in Week 1 over the Miami Dolphins. Cam Newton looked good in his first start, and the defense doesn’t appear to have missed a beat from the 2019 season.
That said, we’re in a new week, and nothing they did in Week 1 will have any impact on the Sunday night contest against the Seattle Seahawks. Russell Wilson and Co. represent a different and greater challenge than the Dolphins did, and if the Patriots don’t do the following three things, they’ll find themselves 1-1 after two weeks of the 2020 NFL season.
Follow the Heavy on Patriots Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors, and content!
Take Care of the Football
Aside from the near-disastrous N’Keal Harry fumble inside the five-yard line, the Patriots were mistake-free as it pertained to turnovers. They finished +2 in this facet of the game.
Against the Seahawks, which features a more opportunistic defense, the Patriots will have to be even more aware of giving away the ball in the running and passing game.
Keep Russell Wilson in the Pocket
Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the game. You’ll find people who will tell you the Seahawks’ quarterback is tops in the league, and not the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes. It appears Patriots head coach Bill Belichick might be one of those guys.
Wilson can beat you from everywhere on the field, but he really breaks an opponent’s back when he breaks contain and makes plays outside of the pocket. Whether he’s scrambling for yardage or simply buying more time for his receivers, Wilson’s intellectual mobility can be a killer for the opposition’s defense.
Make Seahawks Respect Newton’s Ability to Throw the Ball Deep
The Patriots played smash-mouth football in Week 1 vs. the Dolphins with 42 rushing attempts. New England will lean on the running game all season, but they will have to force defenses to respect their ability to make the occasional splash play.
This could mean Newton going down the field to Damiere Byrd. Despite playing a number of snaps and even finding some openings, Byrd didn’t have one target in Week 1. That’ll likely need to change if the Patriots want to keep a good defense like Seattle’s honest.