Patriots

Patriots

FOXBORO -- Stephon Gilmore didn't love what he heard from Davante Adams earlier this week, when Adams said, "I don't feel like anyone can guard me right now."

Gilmore followed Adams around the field when the Patriots were in man-to-man coverage, allowing two catches on four targets for 15 yards. He also had a pass-breakup in coverage on Adams on a throw to the end zone from Aaron Rodgers. 

"He was pretty good," Gilmore said. "But I play my game regardless of who I'm going against. I didn't like what he said earlier in the week. I kinda took it personal a little bit. But he's a good receiver."

Adams ended up with 40 total yards, but the majority of those -- including a two-yard touchdown -- came with the Patriots playing zone and Gilmore not the primary defensive back in coverage of Adams.

After dominating performances against Sammy Watkins, Allen Robinson and Kelvin Benjamin, for Gilmore to be able to limit Adams the way he did was arguably his most impressive performance of the season. Rodgers' No. 1 receiver was coming off of a three-game stretch in which he recorded 140, 132 and 133 yards receiving.

"I'm just trying to play my hardest," Gilmore said. "If they don't respect me, I'm trying to prove myself every game. That's what I try to do week in and week out."

 

Gilmore came into this week's game with a quarterback rating against of 55.7. He's now Pro Football Focus' highest-graded corner in terms of coverage, and their top-ranked corner overall. 

I asked Gilmore if he felt as though this recent stretch is the best he's ever played. 

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"Yeah. Week in and week out, yes," he said. "Just try to prepare. I have great teammates, safeties allow me to play aggressive, and coaches put me in position to make plays. So it's not just me."

The signature play from Gilmore's latest standout performance was probably his breakup in the end zone, which helped limit the Packers drive to a field goal. 

After the snap, Gilmore ran into teammate Duron Harmon with three Packers receivers aligned on the defensive right side of the formation. Gilmore pushed through the contact to recover just in time -- he had to lay out -- to impact the throw.

"Had to get through," Gilmore said. "Sometimes when you get all those receivers together, you're running through so much you gotta fight yourself through to be able to make the play. It's a little make-up speed, and not giving up. Can't give up. Just gotta keep fighting to the end."

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