The Patriots defeated the Steelers 33-3 in Week One. The reigning Super Bowl champions generated 465 yards of offense and completely neutralized a team thought to compete in the AFC. They raised their sixth Super Bowl banner, and their third in four years. Oh, and they just signed the guy who had the most receiving touchdowns in 2018 (15) and the most receiving yards in 2017 (1533). So how did the Patriots fill out this week’s report card?
The Receiving Corps
Top to bottom, the New England wide receivers put on a clinic in the season opener. Five players had at least three receptions and four had over 50 receiving yards. Julian Edelman looked like his normal self wreaking havoc across the middle of the field. Josh Gordon (3 rec, 73 yards, 1 TD) put on a show in his first game back, including a 20-yard touchdown that, fittingly, represented the Patriots’ first points of the new year. The biggest standout of the group, however, was Philip Dorsett. Entering his third season with New England, he’s been largely an afterthought. Dorsett shined in the 2019 opener, grabbing four catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns, leading the game in both categories. This performance could not have come at a better time for Dorsett, who is fighting for every target at a crowded, and talented, position on the depth chart.
It would be remiss of me to not mention Brady, who completed 24 of 36 passes for 341 yards and three touchdowns. He was only sacked once and did not look a day over 25, much less 42 and in his twentieth season.
After a shaky preseason, the veteran kicker was a perfect 4/4 on field goals and 3/3 on extra points on Sunday. Entering his 14th season with New England, the 35-year-old is back to business.
After third-wheeling behind Sony Michel and James White in 2018, Burkhead made a statement in the season opener. His 44 rushing yards led both teams and his 5.5 yards per carry comfortably outpaced Sony Michel’s 0.93 YPC.
The Pass Rush
In a lopsided game where the Steelers threw the ball 47 times, Ben Roethlisberger was only sacked once. Considering the Patriots won by 30, this is a minor gripe.
The Tackle Position
Starting right tackle Marcus Cannon went down with a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter. It’s not considered to be season-ending, but it’s a shallow position on the depth chart. Cannon is very valuable to that offensive line: in seven seasons with the Patriots, he’s missed just 19 games.
–Ethan Roy is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage. He covers the New England Patriots. Follow him on Twitter @_ethanroy