Patriots start new-look season at home against Miami on Sunday

Patriots prepare for new-looking season opener

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots open their 2020 season Sunday against the Miami Dolphins with a new quarterback and an empty stadium.

Head coach Bill Belichick is 25-17 all-time against the Dolphins.

Last year, the Patriots ended their regular season with a 27-24 loss against Miami, after dominating the Dolphins on the road in Week 2, shutting them out 43-0.

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While the Pats have home-field advantage Sunday, we don’t know what that means since the seats will be empty.

Gillette Stadium will remain that way through at least September, including New England’s matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sept. 27.

There will be notable absences on the field, too.

Eight Patriots have opted out of playing this season because of coronavirus concerns, including starters Don’t’a Hightower, Patrick Chung and Marcus Cannon. The others are Brandon Bolden, Marqise Lee, Najee Toran, Danny Vitale and Matt LaCosse.

Earlier in the summer, Belichick said he respected the decision made by any player who opted out.

The Patriots have the most players of any team who opted to not play this season. In comparison, the Dolphins have only two players who decided against playing this season.

New England kicks off against Miami at 1 p.m. at Gillette.