5. Logan Ryan
Here’s another guy who has picked up right where he left off in 2015; Ryan has been the No. 5 top performer for the Patriots this season. He has a solid stat line of 17 combined tackles and two passes defended. In addition, Ryan shut down DeAndre Hopkins yet again, just like he did in their Week 14 encounter last year.
The Patriots mediaverse took notice of Ryan’s strong play against Hopkins on Thursday night:
This writer really agrees with Daniels’ note, as Hopkins is a top-five wideout in this league and could catch a pass on the edge of a cliff and not fall off. His 56 yards on four catches moved the chains a few times for the Texans, but Ryan kept the elite pass catcher from taking over the game.
One 2017 storyline that hasn’t been getting enough attention is the prospect of Ryan leaving New England in free agency. Earlier in his career, Ryan was often a weak link in the Patriots’ secondary, but he has carved out a niche as a cover man who can shut down the likes of Hopkins and Demaryius Thomas as long as he has a strong safety presence behind him (thanks, Devin McCourty).
Next: 4. Julian Edelman