Someone must have forgotten to tell Tom Brady and the Patriots that they were supposed to be a little rusty coming back in their first regular season game after the NFL Lockout.
Monday night in the heat in Miami, Brady and the Pats looked like a well oiled machine, putting up points and yards in bunches as the Pats jumped all over the Miami Dolphins for a commanding 38-24 win.
Brady was a gunslinger, throwing for a week one high 517 yards on 32-of-48 passing. He found the tight ends all night long, as Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski combined for 13 grabs for 189 yards and two touchdowns. Brady also hit favorite wide out Wes Welker with a 99-yard score to put the game away with 5:44 left to make it 38-17.
New England had 28 first downs and 622 total yards on the night. They were 8-for-13 on third downs, and averaged 8.8 yards per play.
Miami made it a game for the first three quarters, as they led 7-0 after a Chad Henne 9-yard TD run with 7:42 left in the first quarter. It would be their last lead of the night against the Pats, as New England drove right down the field and scored on a BenJarvus Green-Ellis four-yard run to make it 7-7.
A minute into the second quarter Brady hit the first of his four TD passes, the first going to TE Gronkowski from 10 yards out to make it 14-7 with 14:09 left in the first half.
Miami tied the game at 14 two and a half minutes into the third quarter as Henne hit WR Brian Hartline down the middle with a 10-yard TD pass. The Pats though couldn’t be stopped, as Brady hit Welker with a two-yard score to make it 21-14, and after the Dolphins got a field goal to make it 21-17, the Pats came back with Brady’s third TD pass, this one to Hernandez from 1-yard out to make it 28-17 with 10 seconds left in the third quarter.
After the Pats put up 10 more fourth quarter points to make it 38-17, the Fins wrapped up the scoring as Henne hit new RB Reggie Bush with a 2-yard TD pass with 3:39 left to make the final 38-24.
Henne was 30-for-49 for 416 yards with two touchdowns and a pick. Brandon Marshall had 7 grabs for 139 yards, and Bush ran for 38 yards on 11 carries.
The storyline though was the offensive showcase of Brady and the Pats, who all night long marched up and down the field against Tony Sparano’s Dolphins D.
In 12 possessions, the Pats punted four times, scored five touchdowns, missed a field goal, hit a field goal, and had one drive end with an interception.
The Pats quickly put their stamp on the AFC with the win, and now will go home Sunday to play host to another AFC power, the San Diego Chargers.