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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Patriots vs. Jets Week 7 highlights, analysis and injury updates

Patriots vs. Jets Week 7 highlights, analysis and injury updates

The latest chapter in the rivalry between the New England Patriots and New York Jets will be written Monday night at MetLife Stadium, where the defending Super Bowl champions will try to improve their unbeaten record to 7-0.

The Patriots enter Week 7 with a 6-0 record for the first time since 2015, and oddsmakers like their chances of beating the Jets for the second time this season. New England is a 9.5-point favorite just a few hours before kickoff.

The Jets have lost seven consecutive games to the Patriots, which ties their worst losing skid to New England in franchise history. New York, however, has starting quarterback Sam Darnold and star linebacker C.J. Mosley back in the lineup together for the first time since Week 1. Both players did not participate in the Jets' Week 3 loss to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Darnold was battling mono and Mosley had a groin injury.

Will the Patriots extend their win streak against the Jets to eight games, or will New York overcome its nemesis and earn a potential season-defining victory? Keep it right here for all of the latest highlights, score updates, injuries and quick analysis from Patriots vs. Jets.

Second quarter, 4:55, 24-0 Patriots: Yet another interception for the Patriots, this time by safety Duron Harmon. Jets quarterback Sam Darnold has made some putrid throws tonight.

Second quarter, 9:18, 24-0 Patriots: Patriots running back Sony Michel runs into the end zone from 1-yard out for his second rushing touchdown of the game. 

The Patriots have run 35 plays. The Jets? Just eight.

Second quarter, 14:01, 17-0 Patriots: The Patriots have forced another turnover. John Simon sacked Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, who fumbled on the play, and Kyle Van Noy recovered for the Patriots at New York's 40-yard line.

It's been a rough night for the Jets offense.

Here's another interesting stat regarding Devin McCourty's first-quarter interception. 

End of First Quarter, 17-0 Patriots: The Patriots outgained the Jets 141-14 in total yards and had the ball for 12:34 of the 15 minutes in the first quarter. Yikes!

First quarter, 0:09, 17-0 Patriots: Tom Brady dropped a 28-yard dime to wide receiver Phillip Dorsett for another Patriots touchdown. Dorsett returned tonight after missing most of Week 5 and all of Week 6 with a hamstring injury.

Third-down conversions have been key for the Patriots so far.

First quarter, 1:09, 10-0 Patriots: Ben Watson's second catch of the night moves the chains on 4th-and-6 as the Patriots move deeper into Jets territory.

First quarter, 3:49, 10-0 Patriots: The Patriots had to settle for a field goal after the turnover. Veteran kicker Mike Nugent converted from 34 yards out to give New England an early 10-0 advantage.

First quarter, 4:45, 7-0 Patriots: And just like that, the Patriots have the ball again. Devin McCourty picked off Jets quarterback Sam Darnold for the veteran safety's fifth intercption of the season. The Patriots lead the league with 15 interceptions.

First quarter, 6:13, 7-0 Patriots: The Patriots cap a 16-play, 78-yard drive that lasted almost nine minutes with a 3-yard touchdown run by Sony Michel. It's his fourth rushing score of the season. 

The Jets pass rush failed to get to Brady on that drive.

First quarter, 7:30, 0-0: Benjamin Watson took his first target off his facemask, but he made a 10-yard reception later in the Pats' opening drive on a 3rd-and-5 to move them into the red zone. It was his first reception as a Patriot since 2005.

8:15 p.m.: Here are the results of the coin toss.

8 p.m.: Who's ready for Devin McCourty's pre-game speech?

7:45 p.m.: Tonight is the Patriots' last division road game of the season. It's also their fourth division game overall. After this game against the Jets, the Patriots won't play another division matchup until Week 16 and Week 17 against the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, respectively. 

6:55 p.m.: Here are the inactives for both teams.

PATRIOTS

Rex Burkhead, RB
Josh Gordon, WR
Korey Cunningham, OL
Ryan Izzo, TE
Matt LaCosse, TE
Michael Bennett, DL
Patrick Chung, S

JETS

Trenton Cannon, RB
Chris Herndon, TE
Kelechi Osemele, OL
Kelvin Beachum, OL
Henry Anderson, DL
Albert McClellan, LB
Newville Hewitt, LB

6:40 p.m. ET: The inactives will be announced shortly, so while we wait, let's look at Patriots quarterback Tom Brady making his grand entrance to MetLife Stadium.

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Devin McCourty becomes first Patriots player since Ty Law with five interceptions in first seven games

Devin McCourty becomes first Patriots player since Ty Law with five interceptions in first seven games

Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins got into the Jets backfield untouched, quarterback Sam Darnold panicked and immediately threw it toward slot receiver Jamison Crowder. The pass was wildly overthrown, and Devin McCourty came down with his fifth interception of the 2019 season. 

With his latest pick, McCourty became the first Patriots player since Ty Law in 1998 to record five interceptions in his first seven games of a season, according to NFL Research.

The Pro Football Hall of Famer finished the 1998 season with a league-leading nine interceptions to earn himself a First-Team All-Pro selection. If McCourty keeps up his level of play at the safety position for this dominant Patriots defense, it'd be hard for him not to secure a similar honor at season's end. 

The New England defense will probably feature multiple All-Pro selections when it's all said and done for 2019, but are there any Defensive Player of the Year candidates in this unit? Perhaps McCourty is their best shot. 

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