Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 1 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.
Mike Reiss, ESPN:
Pick: Patriots 24, Dolphins 20
While all eyes will be on Cam Newton becoming the first non-homegrown quarterback to start for the Patriots since Scott Secules in Week 10 of the 1993 season, equally as compelling will be the matchup between Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker and Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore (assuming both play through hamstring injuries). Parker got the better of Gilmore -- the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year -- in last year's season finale (eight catches, 137 yards) in a performance that sat with Gilmore all offseason.
Cameron Wolfe, ESPN
Pick: Patriots 20, Dolphins 16
Bold prediction: Preston Williams -- not Parker -- leads the Dolphins in receiving, totaling over 100 yards in his first game back from a torn ACL. Parker was the star of the previous matchup between these two teams. But with a healthy duo and extra attention on Parker, Williams will be the main beneficiary of Ryan Fitzpatrick's aggressive downfield throws.
Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Patriots
Mina Kimes, ESPN: Patriots
Dan Graziano, ESPN: Patriots
Trey Wingo, ESPN: Dolphins
Kevin Seifert, ESPN: Patriots
Matt Bowen, ESPN: Patriots
Mike Clay, ESPN: Patriots
Jason Reid, ESPN: Patriots
Damien Woody, ESPN: Patriots
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com
Pick: Patriots 23, Dolphins 17
The Tom Brady era didn't end against the Titans in the playoffs. It ended when the Fighting Floreses stole the Patriots' bye with a win in Foxborough the week prior. Bill Belichick won't take this Dolphins team lightly, and it's safe to expect a lot of surprises from both coaches after spending August in hiding. That could include some extreme option football by Cam Newton and some use of Tua Tagovailoa as a change-up by the Dolphins against a Patriots defense which is awfully thin up front. In a potential battle of ground games, the Patriots have a better backfield, offensive line and, remarkably, a better running quarterback than the Dolphins' 2019 leading rusher, Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports:
Pick: Patriots 21, Dolphins 20
This will be Cam Newton at quarterback for the Pats with Tom Brady gone. Newton has impressed in camp, and I think he will be fine. The problem is the talent in other spots. Even so, the Pats will find a way to win this game against a young Miami team. But it won't be easy.
Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports: Patriots
Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Patriots
Dave Richard, CBS Sports: Dolphins
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Patriots
John Breech, CBS Sports: Patriots
Jamey Eisenberg, CBS Sports: Patriots
Jared Dubin, CBS Sports: Patriots
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 24, Dolphins 16
Cam Newton is everything the Patriots expected him to be and more. This year, the Patriots could end up being everything they've been. And more.
Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 27, Dolphins 21
The AFC East is wider open than at any point in recent memory, but I still think Year One of the post-Tom Brady era should get off to a good start in New England.
Paul Perillo, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 23, Dolphins 19
The kicking game will be a factor as the Patriots eke one out in the home opener.
Mike Dussault, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 17, Dolphins 16
There are plenty of unknowns in this unique season opener and the Dolphins 2019 Week 17 victory that torpedoed the Patriots playoff plans is still fresh on the mind. Though New England will be breaking in a number of new players, Bill Belichick's squad should be ready to go given the circumstances and avoid the one critical mistake that decides the game.
Erik Scalavino, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 20, Dolphins 14
Much has changed since the 2019 regular season finale, when these two teams last met at Gillette Stadium. For New England, the most significant change is at QB. Questions remain at the receiver and tight end positions, which means it might be unrealistic to expect offensive fireworks against Miami. However, the Patriots should have just enough in their arsenal to overcome what should be a difficult Dolphins squad that defeated them in last year's finale.
Megan O'Brien, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 21, Dolphins 14
Stephon Gilmore revenge game. The reigning DPOY shuts down DeVante Parker. Cam Newton connects with N'Keal Harry for a touchdown, and New England special teams unit is credited for a score.