FOXBOROUGH, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- An exciting day as the NFL season officially kicks off for the New England Patriots, and it was a much different look at Gillette Stadium, as the Patriots get this first win over the Miami Dolphins.
Good news for the Patriots, they got a 21-11 win over the Dolphins, but it was a completely different feeling at the stadium. There was no traffic heading in, the parking lots were almost empty, and a much quieter feeling inside with no fans.
Despite the crowd noise playing over the loudspeaker here at Gillette Stadium, it was not the same as the New England Patriots took the field for their first home game against the Miami Dolphins.
"It’s always good to get the first one, get the first win under your belt. I thought we got good contributions from all three unity’s and we completed well. I thought the players were in good condition. I thought the conditioning was a big factor for us," said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
But change seems to be a hot topic for the Patriots this season because, after 20 years of 6-time Superbowl champion Tom Brady taking the field here at Gillette, new starting quarterback Cam Newton did so instead, for the first time.
He scored the first touchdown of the game, and when asked what it felt like to play in this kind of atmosphere, for the first time as a Patriot, amid the pandemic, he told Western Mass News it just felt good to be back playing.
“It was different, but it was there for the team to find away. Things showed up that we would not have expected as we do, and things showed up that we did, kind of, expect," he said. "So, not one of the coaching points of the games was accessible for in-game adjustments."
Newton had 75 rushing yards in his Patriots debut, which is by far the most by a Patriots quarterback since 1977 when Steve Grogan recorded 81 at the Bills.
"Bill always talks about being mentally tough, and you know we didn’t blink, so at the end of the day, you knew it was favorable to be mentally tough in that situation, [and] not allowing the moment to be too big for us," he added.
The Patriots will have an off day tomorrow, continue practices throughout the week before they head out to take on the Seattle Seahawks for game two next Sunday.