PFW associate editor Kevin Fishbain selects an offensive, defensive and special-teams player of the game for the Patriots in their season-opening win over the Dolphins.
Offense: QB Tom Brady
Some things never change. Last year's MVP showed no rust in Week One, simply toying with the Dolphins' defense. In a record-setting performance, Brady threw for 517 yards (a personal and franchise best) and four scores. He executed the no-huddle offense and found his wide receivers and athletic tight ends in space. Brady also attacked the Dolphins' weaknesses, especially when CB Nolan Carroll came on to replace Vontae Davis. The 99-yard score to Wes Welker put an exclamation point on an already fantastic debut against last year's sixth-ranked defense.
Defense: DT Myron Pryor
This could have gone a couple of different ways. CB Devin McCourty made a couple of big plays, as did S Patrick Chung, but Pryor simply impressed me the most. All the talk in the offseason was about the additions on the D-line — Albert Haynesworth, Andre Carter and Shaun Ellis — joining stalwart Vince Wilfork. But it was Pryor, who has battled injuries, who exploded off the line to make an impact. Pryor had three tackles, one-half sack, a tackle for loss and three quarterback hits. Again, it might not have been the best performance on defense, but he showed the most.
Special teams: S Sergio Brown
The kicking game wasn't great on Monday night, but Julian Edelman did have a nice game on returns. Brown gets the nod with his game-high three special-teams tackles. All three came in kickoff coverage, an area where the Pats struggled last season. The Dolphins' average starting position on drives was the 25-yard line.