Patriots

Jets coach Adam Gase: Stephon Gilmore 'probably' NFL's best cornerback

Jets coach Adam Gase: Stephon Gilmore 'probably' NFL's best cornerback

New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore was the only player at his position to earn an "elite" grade from Pro Football Focus last season, and he's continued that stellar play into the 2019 campaign.

Gilmore did an excellent job limiting the effectiveness of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster in Week 1, and he gave a similarly good performance against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. The veteran cornerback forced an interception by tipping a pass from Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick into the arms of teammate Devin McCourty, and later in the fourth quarter Gilmore intercepted a pass himself and ran it back for a touchdown.

The next challenge for the Patriots is a Week 3 home matchup Sunday against the rival New York Jets, and their head coach, Adam Gase, singled out Gilmore on Wednesday as one of the league's top cornerbacks.

"He's probably the best corner in the league," Gase said Wednesday during a media conference call. "Just the fact of, if he's one-on-one, he's very difficult to get open on. He has a very good knowledge of the game. He understands splits, he understands break points, he understands stems and things like that, that really make it challenging for any receiver. But as a play-caller, you're aware of that and just have to understand that he's playing chess while everybody else is playing checkers. He's really, especially the past couple years, he's playing at an extremely high level."

We hope no one shares this Gase quote with Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey!

Gilmore should have another comfortable afternoon Sunday against a Jets passing attack that doesn't feature an elite quarterback, wide receiver or tight end.

New York has one passing touchdown over the first two weeks of the reason and ranks 29th in passing yards per game over the same span. These numbers aren't likely to improve much -- if at all -- with the Jets forced to start third-string quarterback Luke Falk against the Patriots. Starting quarterback Sam Darnold is battling mono and backup Trevor Siemian is out for the season after suffering an ankle injury Monday night.

Latest Patriots-Jets Week 3 spread is laughably big>>>

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Ravens trade for Rams cornerback Marcus Peters as AFC playoff race heats up

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens trade for Rams cornerback Marcus Peters as AFC playoff race heats up

The Baltimore Ravens bolstered the talent and depth of their secondary Tuesday by trading for Los Angeles Rams cornerback Marcus Peters.

The two teams announced the deal Tuesday afternoon. The Ravens are sending linebacker Kenny Young and an undisclosed 2020 draft pick to the Rams in exchange for Peters.

The Ravens enter Week 7 atop the AFC North division with a 4-2 record -- two games ahead of the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers in second place. They have established themselves as legitimate contenders in the AFC, and upgrading the secondary was a smart move given the possibility of playoff matchups against the high-powered offenses of the New England Patriots, Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs in January. Peters has two games of playoff experience against the Patriots, including a Super Bowl LIII loss in February.

Pro Football Focus has graded Peters as the 13th-best cornerback in the NFL (minimum 150-plus snaps played) through six weeks. He joins a Baltimore defense that ranks 25th in passing yards allowed per game. The Ravens pass defense also has given up six passing touchdowns and tallied five interceptions over six games.

Peters is a two-time Pro Bowler (2015-16) and earned an All-Pro first team selection in 2016.

The 2019 NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. ET.

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NFL Trade Deadline preview: Could Patriots look to add these players?

NFL Trade Deadline preview: Could Patriots look to add these players?

The trade deadline approacheth. Annually, the Patriots are the league’s leading roster tinkerers at the end of October. Since 2012, there have been bombshell exports (Jamie Collins), inspired imports (Aqib Talib) and moves that seemed minor which wound up paying huge dividends (Jonathan Casillas and Akeem Ayers). 

The Patriots don’t need any help at all on defense. In fact, they could be sellers because of their depth up front, at linebacker and in the secondary. 

But on offense? Their tight end depth and production both is grotesque and they are undermanned at wideout even with the impending return of rookie N’Keal Harry from injured reserve. There’s real concern that, if offensive reinforcements don’t come, an historic season from this defense may be wasted. More than anything, the Patriots need an inside wideout who can be a weapon on third down and make yards on his own. Like Danny Amendola was. Or Antonio Brown could have been.  

Brown didn’t work. And the aftershocks of the team betting on him continue. First, his $5.5M cap hit is still on the books and the Patriots will have to get inventive to get any player they want under the cap. Second, the Patriots traded away the kind of experienced player they’d love to have — Demaryius Thomas — once they got Brown up and running. 

There are obstacles the Patriots face. One issue is league parity makes teams reluctant to raise the white flag on their season. Everybody’s just a run of luck away from being in contention, it seems, and some teams that are already dead are direct rivals of the Patriots who won’t be prone to dealing with them. 

Also, who wants to get fleeced by Belichick? 

But the Patriots have the draft pick artillery to make a trade. They also have the aforementioned depth they can deal somewhere else. So for a GM whose team is taking on water, it’s sometimes better to make a deal to look like you’re not just sitting on your ass waiting for the ship to sink. 

Click here to see which players might be potential trade deadline additions for the Patriots.>>>>>

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