Patriots

Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore dominates Giants, earns praise from NFL legend

Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore dominates Giants, earns praise from NFL legend

FOXBORO, Mass. -- Stephon Gilmore was playing so well in Thursday night's Week 6 matchup against the New York Giants that an NFL legend felt compelled to give the New England Patriots cornerback a special shoutout on Twitter.

Former Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis, who was the best player at his position for most of his career, praised Gilmore as the league's top cornerback "by far" in a tweet sent during the second half of New England's 35-14 victory.

"I appreciate it," Gilmore said of Revis' praise. "He was one of the best at one point. He knows what (an elite cornerback) looks like. I appreciate that from him."

Gilmore has earned a reputation as the premier shutdown corner in the league. He was the only player at his position to receive an elite grade from Pro Football Focus last season, while also earning Pro Bowl and All-Pro first team selections. Gilmore has played at a very high level this season, too. According to PFF, he had given up just 18 receptions (and zero touchdowns) on 34 passes thrown his way through five weeks.

Thursday night's performance was his best of 2019.

Gilmore was targeted on Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones' first pass of the game, and the veteran cornerback allowed a 9-yard reception to wide receiver Darius Slayton. Gilmore did not allow a single catch the rest of the game. He was targeted five more times, and each one ended in frustration for Jones and the Giants offense.

“We say it all the time, if you want to throw it at Steph, good luck over there,” Patriots safety Duron Harmon said. “You might catch one here or there, but for the most part, he’s going to lock down that whole compete side. We feel confident in leaving him back there by himself.”

Gilmore finally got his hands on an interception in the third quarter. He put himself into great position, took contact from Giants tight end Rhett Ellison and completed the play along the sideline.

"He ran the play before that, came back to the same play -- we played a different coverage," Gilmore said of his interception. "(Jones) thought we were in man and I played zone. I came off and made a play."

Gilmore is the best player in a Patriots secondary that has dominated opponents this season. New England entered Thursday night leading the league with 11 interceptions, and the defense added three more to its total versus the Giants. In fact, the Patriots' 14 interceptions through six games is at least twice as many as every other NFL team.

One of the most impressive aspects of this secondary is its ability to play off of each other's strengths. Several of these defensive backs have been teammates for multiple seasons, and the strong chemistry they've developed is paying huge dividends in 2019.

"I think what’s made us really good in the secondary is understanding everybody’s abilities, what they do well, how we need to play off each other, and I think that’s allowed us to make some more plays, even from last year going forward," Patriots safety Devin McCourty said. "We’ve just really understood where guys are going to be and what they do well."

Julian Edelman bestows new 'GOAT' label on Patriots QB Tom Brady>>>

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Tom Brady laughs off Patriots injury report designation: 'I'm feeling really good'

Tom Brady laughs off Patriots injury report designation: 'I'm feeling really good'

The New England Patriots' Thursday injury report raised some eyebrows as Tom Brady was downgraded to limited in practice. But per usual, the injury designation doesn't seem to be a cause for concern.

In fact, Brady couldn't help but laugh when asked about being listed with elbow and toe ailments. During his Thursday night appearance on Westwood One with Jim Gray, Brady assured Patriots fans he'll be good to go vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.

“That might be the first time my toe’s been on the injury report,” Brady said. “So, you know us Patriots. We’re pretty diligent about listing everything. So, I guess you have to make mention of my toe now, as well.”

As for the elbow issue, Brady dealt with it during last week's game in Houston and is ready to do the same at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.

“Isn’t there some HIPAA violation or something like that when I start talking about all of my injuries?” Brady joked. “I’m doing pretty good. I’m doing pretty good. At this time of the year, I’ll take it. I’ll take anything if I’m still able to go out there and feel like I can play my best. I’m feeling really good, really positive about this weekend.”

Kickoff for the much-anticipated Patriots-Chiefs matchup is set for 4:25 p.m., and it sounds like Brady's more than ready for the AFC Championship Game rematch.

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Patriots Talk Podcast: A detailed look at why Tom Brady's time in NE is winding down

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Patriots Talk Podcast: A detailed look at why Tom Brady's time in NE is winding down

For 19 seasons, Tom Brady has been the unquestioned starter at quarterback for the New England Patriots. And for 19 years, he has started every game that he has been healthy for.

But ahead of the 2020 offseason, Brady's status with the organization remains as questionable as ever.

For the first time in his career, the 42-year-old Brady will be set to hit unrestricted free agency. He agreed to a restructured contract with the team this offseason, but it only gave him a pay raise this season and guaranteed that the team couldn't slap him with the franchise tag.

While Brady could return to the Patriots, it's possible that he could choose to go elsewhere if the team doesn't commit to him financially or surround him with better weaponry.

On the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast, Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discussed the possibility of Brady leaving. And as Curran pointed out, that topic hasn't been broached with much seriousness despite the fact that free agency is closer than some may realize.

We're talking about a seismic occurrence in the arc of the dynasty that is basically 90 days away. They could come to some kind of conclusion and rectify it and he might finish his career here, but it doesn't smell that way.

It's important to note that nothing is set in stone, and the Brady-Patriots relationship has endured for two decades for a reason. Despite some strain in the relationship at times, things have always been smoothed over. 

That said, there are some quarterback-needy teams that could attempt to lure Brady away from New England in an attempt to put their team over the top. Curran and Perry identified a few different options on the podcast, one of which was the Los Angeles Chargers.

Hear more from Curran and Perry on the latest episode of "The Patriots Talk Podcast," which drops every Tuesday and Thursday as a part of the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

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