The Patriots have looked near-untouchable in 2019. They lead the AFC with an 8-1 record and have thoroughly dominated their competition, for the most part. Head coach Bill Belichick has won on the strength of his defense, but that could change this week when Belichick and Co. head to Lincoln Financial Field to take on the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles’ record is unimpressive, but they’re not a team to be taken lightly. New England quarterback Tom Brady will have to make some plays in this one, and he has the pieces around him to do it. Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu is a growing part of the Pats’ offense, and he’ll play a key role in this week 11 matchup.
While Sanu hasn’t piled up the stats yet, this game is a chance to do just that. The Eagles are atrocious against the pass, and great against the run. Meanwhile, the Patriots haven’t been terribly efficient on the ground, as lead running back Sony Michel is averaging only 3.3 yards per carry. This adds up to a heavy dose of the passing game, as Michel and others won’t find room on the ground.
Despite being a new addition to the Patriots roster, Sanu has already carved out a role for himself. In week 9’s game against the Baltimore Ravens, the former Atlanta Falcon tied for the team lead with ten receptions. The Ravens are a respectable pass defense, while the Eagles are not.
In every game against a decent offense, the Philadelphia cornerbacks have been torn to shreds. The Patriots’ pass game will have things very easy, and Sanu can make things even easier. There’s not a single Philly corner who can stay with him in coverage, and it’ll show come Sunday.
Although unlikely, the Patriots could be put in a passing situation. Philadelphia’s offense is hot and cold, but it has the potential to be lethal. Playing in Philadelphia is a huge home-field advantage, making this matchup a possible trap game. It probably won’t happen, but there’s a possibility that the Patriots will be locked in a close one. If that’s the case, the game will be in Tom Brady’s hands.
Sanu is the only proven veteran in the receiving room besides Julian Edelman. The Eagles’ defense will certainly focus in on Edelman, and challenge Sanu to win one-on-one. If that’s the case, Sanu becomes the clear-cut number one target. He’s been deadly in the red zone to this point, catching a touchdown there against the Ravens. Sanu will contribute in a big way on Sunday, which could be just what the doctor ordered.