The Dolphins +1 in turnover ratio and only had 5 penalties for 28 yards. This was the difference in the game as the team struggled to do anything else consistently well.
The Dolphins were soundly beaten in the time of possession department. This is a combination of the Patriots running the ball well (125 yards, 4.2 ypc) and the Dolphins being inconsistent in running the ball (74 yards, 3.2 ypc). The only player that ran the ball well for the Dolphins was Myles Gaskin (9 carries, 49 yards) but obviously, he did not get enough touches.
Pass protection was iffy, with Tua having to run for his life more than a couple of times, including on an ill-fated play where he was trying to get away from pressure and chucked up a pass to the sideline that was picked off by Jonathan Jones.
The receivers seemed to struggle getting open as oftentimes, Tua was trying to fit the ball into tight windows. Meanwhile, the Patriots receivers always seemed to have a nice cushion and in some cases were running wide open.
Tua had an ugly game, completing 59% of his passes (one incompletion was a bad drop by Jaylen Waddle) and throwing 1 TD and 1 pick. He also ran for a TD. The drives to start each half were things of beauty, with the Dolphins getting touchdowns in each and Tua looking confident. But in between was a mish-mash of inconsistency.
A win is a win and the Dolphins were the only team to win in the AFC East, so that's a good start to the season. It was also a win on the road, in New England, which is a rarity. A team that wins on the road against a tough opponent despite not playing well is a team that demonstrates other intangible elements that are important to winning. So this is a good sign.
But next week the Dolphins will play the Bills in Miami, coming off a disappointing loss against the Steelers. The Dolphins will need to put together a better performance to win that one.