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.
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