The new England Patriots are collection to challenge the Los Angeles Chargers in Sunday"s main 8 matchup in ~ SoFi Stadium. But before that, we"ve gained some concerns to answer. Let"s acquire to the mailbag...

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Interesting to hear to run backs coach Ivan Fears recognize that the Patriots room basically choosing in between Rhamondre Stevenson and also JJ Taylor based upon a variety of determinants from one week come the next.

“Everything goes right into it,” fear said. “Everything they carry out all week long goes right into it. Generally Bill renders the decision at the end of the week based on how the males handled the week. We got two an excellent guys over there in J.J. And also Rhamondre. Castle both battling that out. Lock busting your butt. They’re law a an excellent job. We love both the them.

But you can not play them all. Unfortunately, we obtained to do a call. Typically speaking, what castle do throughout the week dictates who gets that call. For this reason both guys are usually ready to go, and Coach renders a decision in ~ the end of the week… following week, we’ll check out what happens.” If I had to guess, I’d speak Stevenson will be up this week. This can be a run-heavy game versus the worst operation defense on football. Your defensive approach — come guard versus the pass first — is by architecture under two-high-safety-loving head coach Brandon Staley.

Perry: just how the Pats can make use of an aggressive Chargers defense

But fear (who was electrical as always in his media availability duration with reporters this week), said no one theatre the Patriots through two high safeties. He is right, of course. The Patriots space run-focused enough — and also short-passing-game focused enough — that playing two safeties deep against them no make lot sense. This, this week, the Chargers will probably make a change. The still might not matter. Even if castle drop a safety into the crate to help against the run, castle haven’t proved they have the right to consistently overcome opposing attack lines in ~ the allude of attack. They may use 5 linemen and bring an extra defender right into the box to win the Patriots run game with numbers. If that’s the case, climate the game will be on Mac Jones’ appropriate arm. Yet if not, this could be a run-heavy assault featuring new England’s two biggest and most punishing backs Damien Harris and also Stevenson.

Arm strength. Great convos through Tom House and Kurt Warner, however feels prefer we’re no talking about the elephant in the room. Whereby does his arm rank? How/why is that a liability? have the right to he improve it?

— Brian Bennett (

It have the right to be improved, Brian. He’ll obtain stronger, and so too need to his arm. At the moment, his eight is most likely below-average amongst NFL starters. I’d speak it’s great enough. However relative to other passers it is what the is. The factor it might be one issue? as soon as he’s protected, his feet are set, and he can obtain his body right into the throw, it’s typically not. Even in those moments, though, it can pop up once trying come fit a pass into a tight home window or making a lengthy throw come the sideline. Then there space the moments once the pocket isn’t clean, which are unavoidable. If his feet room off, if that can’t make a pure delivery, gaining juice top top the round will be tougher for him 보다 it is many other quarterbacks. Yet anticipation deserve to mitigate some of those issues, and also he clearly has the capacity to throw through anticipation. Same with decision-making. Ns don’t think it’s been an problem to this suggest in this season. But it will certainly be interesting to see just how his eight looks as soon as the weather gets worse and it’s more an overwhelming to journey the football. Hard to know how he’ll execute in wintery conditions. Not many opportunities for that cultivation up in Jacksonville and also then later in the SEC.

One glaring require I check out on offense is a trustworthy slot receiver choose Welker and also Edelman. I was thinking Umass" Andy Isabella from the Cardinals might be obtainable to groom in that role. Thoughts?

— Siofans (

Would the Patriots be open to one Andy Isabella-for-N’Keal bother swap? i’m not certain they would certainly be. Harry has actually a very minimal role in this offense, yet he’s large enough and also willing enough to every so regularly be an efficient blocker. Isabella has actually an superior physical skill set of his own, yet it’s an extremely different. He’d be a straight-line speed male at 5-foot-9, 190 pounds. Ns think there’s value in that and I’d be open up to that type of swap. But I think it is what that would need to be. Otherwise you’ve got a most receivers (two with minimal roles) ~ above a team that desires to operation a the majority of two-back and two-tight end sets. But, in Isabella, i think you will do be looking at a Damiere Byrd type. No a Julian Edelman type. Difficult to say, admittedly, because he’s play so little. Deserve to he play at all? would certainly be interesting to offer him a shoot in exchange because that a polar opposite type of player at the very same position, who additionally hasn’t excellent much because entering the league in 2019. 

Would Brandon Aiyuk it is in a an excellent fit for the Patriots? What could the price potentially be after a an extremely promising rookie season, but currently in the dog house?

— Trygve johannes Lereim Sævareid (

Man. I really took pleasure in watching Aiyuk together a rookie. Explosive. Dynamic v the ball in his hands. However the Niners traded increase in the first round to acquire him in 2020. They recognize he has potential. This season has been a mess on a variety of various fronts for your team. Seems highly unlikely they’d bail on among their best young players because he’s had difficulty in what could end increase a lost year for the whole team. The take significant draft funding (a 2nd and then some?) to pry the from mountain Francisco. I could be ready to walk that course if ns the Patriots. I just can’t view the Niners feeling they need to be trying to relocate on. 

What defensive earlier could the Pats realistically profession for at the deadline?

— beat Flaherty (
PatFlats) October 30, 2021

Have just the point for you right here, Pat!

The Patriots have a long history of obtaining joint-practice opponents... Any chance they could land another before the meeting to aid themselves in ~ corner?https://t.co/53rSfRPaNr

— Phil Perry (

The Pats pressure package appears to have readjusted back to the patricia era. In 2018 and 2019 they go a lot of 5 man stunt pressure that functioned a lot. Is Patricia influencing the defence? Or is this one adjustment come HT and also VN shedding some explosiveness and weaker secondary

— Ekshesh Bekele (

Like this question. The Patriots space a slightly below-average blitz price this team in 2021, check in at 18th come this allude in the year (23.9 percent). Castle ranked 23rd in in blitz rate last year, yet they were about as aggressive together they’ve been this year (24.4 percent). In 2019, lock were 6th (37.1). In 2018, they to be eighth (30.9). Therefore the large change came last year, before Patricia’s arrival. Why the change? might be a variety of reasons. Stephon Gilmore wasn’t the player he’d been in 2019 as soon as he won protective Player the the Year, so maybe the Patriots didn’t feel as comfortable putting much more pressure top top the second by sending added rushers.

The Patriots were likewise behind fairly a little in 2020, if friend recall, meaning fewer chances to pressure opposing offenses into passing situations and thus under blitz opportunities. The same has been true this year. And they’ve watched some quarterbacks that aren’t very good blitz candidates. And their secondary is less talented than it was a year ago. Add up every those factors, and it wouldn’t surprised me if the Patriots to be a bottom-third blitz price team this year.

Could the be due to the fact that of front-seven personnel? that could but I don’t think so. In some ways, blitzing linebackers is a much better way come hide any kind of athletic deficiencies contrasted to forcing those guys to cover. Might it it is in Patricia? Potentially. But the Patriots were more passive in regards to their blitz rate going ago to 2020, prior to his return.

It"s gained to it is in Williams v Williams this week, v Jackson gaining some aid on Allen, right? At least to start.

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— Joseph Schmol (

It wouldn’t surprise me if JC Jackson finished up ~ above Mike Williams (more a boundary threat) with the Patriots doubling Keenan Allen (who dram inside and also out) in ~ every possibility with Jalen Mills the primary man in coverage. The Patriots favor Mills inside, and also with Jonathan Jones out, he could be the choice to mirror LA’s finest wideout. I know what you’re thinking: poor matchup if they finish up one on one. However if the Patriots have the right to send Mills assist on a continual basis, that might be the path they choose. Possibly Myles Bryant gets a few turns inside together well. He has actually the kind of short-area quickness that could play at the “star” clues in brand-new England’s defense. The Patriots room in a bind at corner and also will be trying to make the finest of a tough situation for the remainder of the season, in all likelihood. 

I recall a podcast through TC critical year where you questioned how comparatively lean and also flat the Pats coaching staff is. Let"s agree BB is GOAT, so space we see mistakes due to the fact that they"re understaffed?

— Jim Doyle (

I nothing think so, Jim. Only due to the fact that it’s to be this means for a while. However the mistakes that plagued this team early in the year — the sort of failure that have waned end the last pair of weeks — space mistakes we’re no accustomed to seeing from them. It’s not thinness top top the sidelines, in mine opinion. 

Now that his career shows up to officially be over, Stephen Gostkowski. Pats room of Famer or no?

— Peter (

Yes. However when go he gain in? Mike Vrabel, Vince Wilfork, Wes Welker, Julian Edelman and Adam Vinatieri should be in ~ the front of the line. And by the moment Gostkowski’s time comes, odds room he’ll acquire leapfrogged by some who retire after that does. (I can think of two men in Tampa who may fit that bill.) however yes. He is deserving.