2023 Week 2

Former NFL MVP explains why Patriots fans should have hope after Week 1

The Patriots should bring plenty of positive momentum into Week 2 despite losing to the Eagles.

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The New England Patriots had plenty of chances to upset the Philadelphia Eagles in last Sunday's Week 1 game at Gillette Stadium, but the offense came up short on multiple possessions late in the fourth quarter in a 25-20 loss.

The fact that the Patriots had a chance to win at all after falling behind 16-0 in the first quarter was pretty impressive. The Patriots played better than the defending NFC champs over the last three quarters, and the defense did a great job holding elite quarterback Jalen Hurts to just 207 total yards and one touchdown. The offense also looked better with new offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien running the show. Starting quarterback Mac Jones threw for 316 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

A loss is a loss, but there were plenty of positives to take away from that Patriots performance.

Former NFL MVP and WFAN radio host Boomer Esiason joined WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show" on Monday and explained why Patriots fans should have hope after watching the season opener.

“I know nobody likes moral victories, especially up in New England on a day that you're honoring your best player in the history of the sport, but I have to tell you, I saw glimpses of hope, especially on offense with Bill O'Brien calling the plays and putting Mac Jones in a really good spot,” Esiason said.

“And quite frankly, the defense played, I thought, really, really well. And if it weren't for that pick-six by Darius Slay and maybe the fumble by Ezekiel Elliott, overall I would say that I would give the slight edge to the Patriots outplaying the Philadelphia Eagles, although the scoreboard didn't show it.”

Esiason later added: “That performance yesterday by the New England Patriots would give me hope if I were a Patriot fan, especially the passing game."

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Even though there are reasons to be optimistic about the Patriots, and Esiason noted several of them above, all that momentum could be erased with a bad performance against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday night in Foxboro.

The Dolphins are flying high after a 36-34 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on the road in Week 1. Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is 4-0 against the Patriots in his career and threw for 466 yards with three touchdowns and one interception versus the Chargers.

A win against the Dolphins would give the Patriots a 1-1 record ahead of a Week 3 matchup against the New York Jets that suddenly looks a lot more winnable now that Aaron Rodgers is out for the season and Zach Wilson is their starting quarterback.

There's a real chance for the Patriots to be 2-1 after three weeks, but that has to start with a quality performance Sunday night versus the Dolphins that builds on what we saw from Bill Belichick's team in the season opener.

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