It was ugly, but at least a few South Floridians were happy when they left Hard Rock Stadium.
Four South Florida natives suited up for New England in Sunday’s 43-0 blowout win over the Dolphins, and they all made an impact on the Patriots’ offense, which totaled 381 yards.
After weeks of national headlines and social media buzz, Miami native Antonio Brown (Miami Norland) made his Patriots debut. And the former Oakland Raider wasted no time immersing himself in the offense.
His first reception as a Patriot was good for 18 yards after quarterback Tom Brady found him over the middle in their opening drive. The Patriots capped off the possession with a touchdown run from Plantation American Heritage alum Sony Michel.
Brown finished with 56 yards on four receptions. He dropped a couple passes, but he had a 20-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter — the first of his Patriots career.
“We have a long way to go, we really do,” Brady said after the game. “I feel like we’re — We haven’t been working together very long, myself, even Jules [Julian Edelman] this year ... so just trying to get everyone in a rhythm.”
After Michel opened scoring with the 1-yard touchdown run in the first, he added 84 more yards to a Patriots rushing attack that totaled 126 on the ground.
The Plantation native lost a fumble in the fourth quarter, which Dolphins safety Minkah Fitzpatrick recovered, but the game was well out of reach (43-0) by then.
“It’s always cool to come down here and play the Dolphins,” Michel said. “Family gets to come down to see the game. It’s always cool.”
Former Miami Hurricanes and St. Thomas Aquinas receiver Phillip Dorsett finished with 39 yards on three receptions, including an 18-yard catch in the second quarter.
Dorsett, a Fort Lauderdale native, was a three-star prospect out of St. Thomas Aquinas, and he recorded 2,132 yards with 17 touchdowns during his UM career.
“He’s a playmaker, Phillip,” running back James White said. “He may not be in every play, but when he is in there, he makes big plays for us.
“[I have] been competing with that guy since high school. That’s how he’s always been.”
And just as the game started with a score from a former South Florida native, it ended with one.
White, also a St. Thomas Aquinas alum, had a 10-yard touchdown catch with a little over two minutes left in the game, his first score this season.
“For us as a offense we want to start fast,” White said. “We usually don’t start fast down here, and we just wanted to come out and play hard from the first snap.”