An interception and return by Louis Oliver ended a Patriots scoring threat on their opening drive and resulted in a Dolphins touchdown for a 7 – 0 lead. It was the first of four turnovers surrendered by the Patriots, which resulted in two touchdowns and the difference in a 24-10 season opening loss.
Unlike the shootouts in the past showdowns, the two teams combined for less than 400 yards passing. Drew Bledsoe threw for 222 yards, completing just 9 of 38, including one touchdown and two interceptions. His favorite target, once again, was tight end Ben Coates, who earned game honors for his 6 receptions and 69 yards. He scored the Patriots only touchdown of the game on a 4th-and-1 situation from the dolphins 29-yard line. The 29-yard gain moved Bledsoe into third place on the Patriots' all-time passing list, ahead of Tony Eason (10,556 yards).
Down early, the Patriots practically abandoned the run, rushing just 14 times for 29 yards (2.1 avg.). Martin, who rushed for 142 yards in Miami last year, finished the game with just 23 yards on 11 carries (2.1 avg.). The Dolphins' Karim Abdul-Jabbar led all rushers with 115 yards on 26 carries and scored his first career touchdown on a 3-yard run in the second to give the Dolphins a 17-3 lead at the half. The Dolphins drove 96 yards in just eight plays to take a 24-3 lead on their first possession of the second half. The Patriots answered with a 29-yard scoring strike from Bledsoe to Coates, capitalizing on a David Meggett 54-yard kickoff return to the Dolphin 38-yard line. The Patriots threatened to score on two of their next three possessions, but had drives end at the Dolohins 29 (downs) and 35 (interception) yard lines, resulting in the 24-10 season opening loss.