BOSTON -- All spring and summer long, the word on the Patriots' offense has been that it looks like a mess. Yet when the season kicked off on Sunday in Miami, it looked ... pretty good.
Until it didn't.
The Patriots had picked up four first downs on the opening drive, getting 25 yards on the ground and 28 yards through the air. And after an 11-yard connection from Mac Jones to Hunter Henry gave the Patriots a first-and-10 from the Miami 22-yard line, Jones decided to go for it all by throwing a jump ball to former Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker.
That shot at the end zone didn't go as planned.
Xavien Howard was tight in coverage on Parker, and the All-Pro cornerback deflected the pass into the air, allowing Jevon Holland to pick it off.
Holland ran it out of the end zone and got it all the way back to the Miami 28-yard line.
Jones had been 3-for-3 for 28 yards on the drive before throwing the pick.
Replay showed that Howard had a strong hold of Parker's jersey while in coverage, but the officials on the field didn't see it, and a promising opening drive ended in rather disappointing fashion for the new-look Patriots offense.
The Patriots punted on their second drive, and things got a bit worse on their third drive, as Jones was strip-sacked en route to a defensive touchdown for Miami.
for more features.