Patriots stock up, stock down heading into Week 2
The New England Patriots kicked off their 2021 season with a tough loss to the Miami Dolphins. However, the team looked solid throughout the game, as one could argue the Patriots beat themselves in Week 1. New England is in line for an improved season, but not everything is perfect just yet.
They participate in a competitive AFC East division this year, which doesn’t bode well for the Patriots’ postseason outlook. Even so, their defense will keep them in most games and the offense has the weapons to make some noise throughout the year.
There are two players to pay attention to right now on New England’s roster. Both of which play on the offensive side of the ball. If the Patriots can maintain consistent quarterback play while a tight end improves, then this franchise could be in the playoff hunt later in the year. With that said, here are the Patriots players whose stock is up and down heading into Week 2.
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Patriots Stock Up, Stock Down
Stock Up: Mac Jones
The rookie quarterback looked impressive in his regular-season debut, which should give fans something to be excited about. Mac Jones seems to be a perfect fit in Bill Belichick’s offensive scheme, as he threw for 281 yards and one touchdown.
The lack of touchdowns shouldn’t be alarming right now, as those will come throughout the season. Mac Jones spread the wealth amongst his receiving core, as four teammates recorded five receptions or more. Although the Patriots lost their season opener, this franchise should feel confident about their outlook with Jones under center.
New England has a much easier matchup in Week 2 as they take on the New York Jets. Considering Sam Darnold looked decent against the Jets, Mac Jones should have no problem going up against New York. Look for Jones to improve throughout the course of the season, as he’s in a perfect situation to succeed.
Stock Down: Hunter Henry
After signing a big deal to go to New England, Hunter Henry seemed to be the odd man out in the Patriots’ passing game. Jones only targeted Henry three times, which the tight end turned into three receptions for 31 yards. He did well with his opportunities, but it wasn’t enough to make a noticeable impact.
Jakobi Meyers, James White, Nelson Agholor, and Jonnu Smith seemed to be the top pass options in Week 1. Hunter Henry could expand his target share throughout the season, but for now, there are a lot of mouths to feed in New England. Considering the Patriots gave Hunter Henry a large sum of money, the coaching staff will likely draw up some plays for him this season.
However, there’s a real chance that Mac Jones simply prefers Jonnu Smith and the other pass options in New England. It’ll be interesting to see how the season plays out for Henry, as his outlook is a bit wonky right now. We’ll see if he can put together a stronger performance in Week 2. If so, then Hunter Henry should serve as one of the main pass options. If not, then it could be a long season for the veteran tight end.