Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, right, greets wide receiver Mack Hollins as the team warms up before an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Dolphins to Begin Season Against Division Foe Patriots

The Miami Dolphins will be back in aqua and orange to kickoff the 2020 NFL season Sunday in a division matchup against the rival New England Patriots. The Dolphins open the season traveling to New England for a 1 p.m. kickoff at Gillette Stadium.

The Dolphins and second-year Head Coach Brian Flores will look to start their season where they left off seeking a second consecutive win over the Patriots after finishing last season with a 27-24 win against New England in Week 17.

Building Off Last Season

The Dolphins finished last season with a 5-11 record and a last-place finish in the AFC East division. The team started the year 0-7 before making improvements to finish 5-4 in their final nine games.

In Brian Flores’s second season manning the helm, the team looks to build upon last year’s late-season success as they added 11 draft picks and a handful of veteran free agents. Flores also made changes in the coaching staff adding new defensive backs, linebackers and assistant offensive line coach.

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who the Dolphins selected fifth overall, highlighted the teams deep draft class which featured three first-round picks. The Dolphins also added veteran free agents such as cornerback Byron Jones, outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy and pass rushers Shaq Lawson and Emmanuel Ogbah.

Even Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots and Flores’s former boss, said that the team should be “a lot better” in year two with the roster overhauls and coaching staff changes Flores has made.

The Dolphins named league veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starting quarterback Monday. Fitzpatrick, 37, and in his 16th NFL season, is returning for his second season with the Dolphins.

A New Patriots Team

The Patriots team that the Dolphins will line up against Sunday will look different than the squad the Dolphins have seen in years past. The most notable change being the departure of franchise quarterback Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Flores, a former Patriot coach himself, also added three players who played for New England last year in Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts and Ted Karras.

The Patriots additionally sport a league-high eight players who have opted out due to Covid-19. This includes defensive stalwarts in linebacker Dont’a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung.

The Dolphins will have to prepare for a new offensive strategy with new quarterback Cam Newton under center. Newton brings a mobile dynamic to the quarterback position that patriots lacked with Tom Brady.

National Anthem

The Dolphins announced on Thursday evening that the team would stay inside for both National Anthems to be played Sunday.

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