About the only time Danny Amendola smiled during his return to New England was when he hugged his ex-teammates before kickoff.
After that, it was nothing but misery.
Amendola, who spent five years with the Patriots before signing with the Dolphins this offseason, caught two passes for 21 yards Sunday. And more importantly, his old team spanked his new one.
Why? He did not have any answers post-game, speaking from Gillette Stadium’s visiting locker room for the first time ever.
“They’re a good team,” Amendola said. “We didn’t play well enough to beat them. So that’s it.”
Amendola helped the Patriots win two Super Bowls and of course still has many good friends in the organization, beginning with quarterback Tom Brady. The two embraced during warmups, but after that, Brady went about destroying and dismantling his long-time friend’s new squad.
It was an important win for the Patriots, who had started 1-2 and raised some concern that their run atop the AFC East was coming to a close. That talk disappeared after three overwhelming hours on the football field.
“They’re a good team, man,” Amendola said. “They’re a good team. I’m worried about our room. And I’m worried about what we can control. I’ve got to play better, we all have to play better to get a win. That’s the bottom line.”
The win was New England’s 10th straight over Miami at Gillette.
But Amendola dismissed the idea that aura had anything to do with the game’s outcome.
“I mean the field’s the same width,” he said. “It’s 100 yards long. We’ve got to come in and play good football, whistle to whistle. That’s what matters most. It doesn’t matter where you’re playing. Noise is a factor on the road. Everybody knows that. And whistle to whistle, we’ve got to play better.””
When asked what the experience was like returning here in a visiting uniform, Amendola responded:
“I’m excited to be in every NFL stadium that I play in, just because I love playing football. This is a great experience.”
▪ Adam Gase had no update on the status of cornerback Bobby McCain, who left the game with a knee injury. Gase did concede that ”obviously him not coming back into the game wasn’t really a great sign.”
The Dolphins were already without Reshad Jones, so after McCain got hurt, Torry McTyer played on the boundary, Minkah Fitzpatrick alternated between safety and nickel and Maurice Smith saw reps at safety.