The New England Patriots were able to win the Super Bowl in 2019, and they definitely got some help from their receiving corps. According to Pro Football Focus, the Patriots had four receivers log above-average grades as outside receivers, including Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman.
A quick glance at the Patriots receivers from 2018 – when they lined up outside pic.twitter.com/8TAzvY6na2— PFF (@PFF) February 24, 2019
The top players on this list aren't too surprising, as Josh Gordon and Edelman both performed well on the outside when they were on the field. However, the big takeaway from this is the regression of Chris Hogan.
Despite being a key weapon for the Patriots in the previous two seasons, Hogan didn't have as much of an impact in 2018, logging only 35 catches for 532 yards and three touchdowns. That was a slight improvement over his overall 2017 numbers (34 catches, 439 yards, five TDs), but he only played in nine games that season. In 2018, he suited up for all 16 games.
Hogan grading poorly as an outside receiver is certainly disappointing, especially considering his relative success in the role the previous two years. At the same time, it does match up with his underwhelming performance from last season and could explain why he saw three or fewer targets in eight of his final nine regular season games.
Hogan's worst season as a Patriot comes at a bad time for him. He is set to be a free agent this offseason. The 30-year-old could still return to the Patriots, but the team may shift its focus to fellow free agent receiver, Cordarrelle Patterson, or some of the team's other notable free agents.
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