The Patriots offense looked a lot different Sunday against Miami than it did the previous 20 years with Tom Brady at quarterback.
New England had 42 rushing attempts, which were more than any game last season, and had six players have at least 20 yards rushing, led by Cam Newton’s 75 yards and two touchdowns.
Could this be what the offense looks like all season?
Speaking via video conference Tuesday, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels indicated that might not be the case.
“It’s more of a function of what we feel like is best to do against the specific opponent that we were playing,” he said. “I know we did some things that we really haven’t done much of around here for a long time — or maybe ever — but I think that’s just a function of using the players that you have to the best of your ability against the opponent and scheme that you’re playing.
“I would say we’re going to be in the same boat that we always are, which is we try to adjust appropriately, change from week to week based on what we feel like gives us the best chance to have success.”
Newton’s 15 carries were the second-most in his career, and his first game with 10-plus rushes since Nov. 2018.
“I was thinking about this the other day: We’ve been a part of games where we’ve thrown it 65 times,” McDaniels said. “That’s difficult to sustain for a long stretch of time. We’ve had games where we’ve run it an inordinate amount of times. I mean, I’ve called over 50-some runs at different times in my career here. No matter what it is you do one week, you’d better be ready to handle a totally different challenge the next week.
“And I would say there’s probably not a greater discrepancy between two different types of defenses than the two that we’re playing here to start the season. So I know we saw some new things (in Week 1). Again, it’s a function of what we felt like we could do best against Miami. Now we’re working hard to figure out what’s going to be in that bucket here for Sunday night against Seattle.”
So, while the Patriots were focused on the running game Sunday against the Dolphins, it doesn’t necessarily mean that will be the case this week against the Seahawks.