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LeGarrette Blount comes up big as Patriots hold on

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The Patriots held on to beat the Dolphins 31-24 Sunday to go 2-0. But not all is well in New England. Here's what we learned as Miami fell to 0-2:

1. The Patriots flourished early this season without Tom Brady. We'll see how they fare without Jimmy Garoppolo, who left Sunday's game midway through the second quarter with a shoulder injury. The early results weren't promising. Garoppolo left with a 21-3 lead and the Patriots barely held on after getting conservative on offense, needing an interception from safety Duron Hrmon in the end zone as time ran out to secure the victory.

2. The injury was a shame because Garoppolo was on fire with 234 yards and three scores in only 25 minutes of action. He was again sterling at making decisions on third and long. His proclivity at extending plays wound up getting him hurt, as he was drilled after holding the ball forever on a third down conversion. Jacoby Brissett, the team's third-round rookie, was not asked to do much while completing 6-of-9 passing with the Patriots essentially in prevent offense mode.

3. The Dolphins' defense deserves the blame here. They provided no resistance to Garoppolo early. When the Dolphins cut the lead to seven points with six minutes left and a third-string QB in the game, the Patriots executed a long drive primarily by running the ball. LeGarrette Blount (129 yards on 29 carries) deserves the game ball, consistently getting more than what was blocked.

4. Ryan Tannehill couldn't move the ball for the first five drives of the game and then couldn't be stopped in the second half. During one stretch, he completed 20-of-21 passes with a throwaway. Despite starting the season 0-2, this is something to build off for the Miami offense with Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, Jordan Cameron and Kenny Stills all making big plays. For 35 minutes, this was the offense Miami imagined all offseason.

5. Arian Foster left the game with a groin injury in the first half and did not return. Jay Ajayi took over and was ineffective, including a lost fumble. Miami does not want to be so one-dimensional on offense.

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