NFL football is back in New England; the Patriots faced off against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium Sunday to begin their 2021 season.

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NFL football is back in New England; the Patriots faced off against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium Sunday to begin their 2021 season. It was a close game for sure with the Patriots losing by one point.

“Last year was the longest year I think of everyone’s life, and now, we’re back,” Patriots season ticket holder John Sorzello said.

More than 65,000 Patriots fans filing into Gillette Stadium Sunday afternoon for the team’s first home game of the season against the Miami Dolphins.

Fans couldn’t be happier to return to be back in person watching their favorite team once again.

“Well it’s the Pats man, it’s the first time we could come back and watch them in person,” Patriots fan Caitlin LeClair said.

There are high expectations for 2021, with rookie quarterback Mac Jones starting in his first career NFL game.

“I think Mac Jones has it already. He just seems to have that mentality,” 2017 Patriots fan of the year Billy Burrows said.

Fans said they're also interested to see the other new additions to the Pats' roster.

“I love Judon, the linebacker. I call him a one-man wrecking crew,” Sorzello said.

Fans were allowed at some NFL stadiums last season, but not in Foxborough due to COVID restrictions.

One Dolphins fan saw his team live in person, but he agrees a packed stadium on a warm September day is the place to be.

“Last year I went to a couple of games in Miami, and I can say that’s the weirdest experience I’ve had. Everyone’s just here, and we’re here watching football; what could be better?” Dolphins fan Joseph Montagudo said.

It was a close game; ultimately, the Patriots came up just short, dropping their season opener to the Dolphins, 17-16.

New England now hits the road for another contest against a division rival. They’ll take on the New York Jets next Sunday at 1:00 p.m. on CBS 3.

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