Patriots Players To Watch, Week 3 Against the Jets

Steve Balestrieri
September 20, 2019 at 8:00 am ET

The Patriots return home to face a New York Jets team that has been bitten badly by the injury bug. Here we are in Week 3 and the Jets are already on their third starting QB due to illness/injury. They are also banged up at other positions. The Patriots meanwhile are pretty healthy with the difference being on their offensive line. Both tackles Isaiah Wynn [IR] and Marcus Cannon are expected to miss this game. 

These divisional matchups with the Jets whether here in Gillette or in the Meadowlands are always intriguing and must-watch television, regardless of records. This week will be no different as the two teams face off for the first of two meetings. The second, in New Jersey, will be on October 21. Expect a loud and raucous crowd this week.

Here are our Patriots players to watch this week down in Gillette Stadium as the Patriots look to improve to 3-0 this week. 

Antonio Brown: 

Much of what we originally were looking for concerned on the field questions. Now, in light of more of the off-field drama concerning him and text messages supposedly sent to one of his accusers, it is now a question of whether he’ll even play or not. 

[From earlier on Thursday], Brown had good production last week in Miami with four receptions for 56 yards including a 20-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady, considering he was only on the team for three days of prep. There were obviously some areas where he and Brady didn’t have their timing or chemistry down which is understandable at this early juncture. 

Now with another week here in the system, we want to see how far their timing has come along and what the Patriots have in mind on how to use him. Bill Belichick has intimated during his presser earlier this week, they were putting in plays to take advantage of his strengths.

Chase Winovich:

The Patriots rookie isn’t considered a starter per se, but his playing time in the early going warrants his inclusion here. He’s such an intriguing guy as well as a player and his motor which runs firewalled on every play makes your eye watch him whenever he’s on the field.

He had 1.5 sacks down in Miami and the QB for the Jets Luke Falk isn’t particularly known as a mobile guy. The Jets have had issues with pass protection and it will be interesting to see if Jerod Mayo and Belichick put Winovich in a position to make some splash plays this weekend. 

Winovich has shown the veteran-like ability to temper his instinctive aggressive play and play within the system or as Belichick likes to say “Do Your Job”. As the season wears on, we expect bigger and better things from him. And a matchup with the rival Jets is a great area to start.

Marshall Newhouse:

Who? Do you ask? Many fans might not know his name yet but with Isaiah Wynn out the team will turn to the 10-year veteran to protect the franchise’s [read Brady’s] blindside. He had an even performance, albeit on a short week of preparation in Miami but now he’s had a chance to get up to speed and will be working with the master of offensive line play Dante Scarnecchia. 

Scarnecchia is a stickler for his players being fundamentally strong and despite the rash of injuries along the offensive line, we never worry too much about the line because Coach Scar always seems to get it figured out. Even still, we’ll be watching Newhouse on Sunday as the Jets like to bring overload blitzes and create pressure rushing just four with a variety of techniques. Protect #12 and the Patriots generally win. 

Stephon Gilmore:

Gilmore’s name was thrust in the limelight this week when Jalen Ramsey, who demanded a trade from the Jaguars said in a social media post that there is no doubt who is the best cornerback in the league. Of course, Patriots fans responded with “he plays in Foxboro” which created an entirely different conversation…ugh.

However, Gilmore, who is among the quietest and soft-spoken of corners in the league, certainly doesn’t lack for confidence. But he doesn’t feel the need to beat his chest like so many of the others often do. 

We look for him to be covering the Jets Robby Anderson this week and Gilmore has no doubt heard the chatter. We look for him to have a big game this week, where you may not his name called once.

Julian Edelman: 

Edelman has been the go-to guy for Tom Brady for a number of years including three Super Bowl wins. Now with the Antonio Brown signing, Edelman isn’t getting much chatter surrounding his game, which is still outstanding in the short/intermediate area.  

Don’t think for a second that Edelman is unaware of it. Not to say that there are any hard feelings between him, Brown, or Brady.  There’s not. But coming home to Foxboro with everyone talking about AB this and AB that [including here], it is bound to stoke the already considerable competitive fire.

Edelman is virtually impossible to stop in the short area when he works out of the slot. We look for him to have a very big game and be heavily involved in the passing game this week.  

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