New England Patriots: Stephon Gilmore happy to bounce back
By Nick Ziegler
One of the big takeaways for the New England Patriots in their Week 5 win was the play of Stephon Gilmore.
So far in the 2017 season, the New England Patriots have struggled defensively. After being one of the best defensive teams in 2016, the Patriots have taken a big step back this season.
After winning the Super Bowl, the Patriots were forced to make some changes on their defense with players leaving. One of the most notable additions was that of cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
In somewhat untypical fashion for the Patriots, they went out and spent a lot of money on Gilmore. As a very good cornerback with the Buffalo Bills for the past few seasons, the signing of Gilmore looked like it would help the Patriots have one of the best defenses in the NFL.
Through four weeks, Gilmore has been one of the players that were struggling for the Patriots. A lot of communication issues have been a problem for the Patriots’ secondary so far, and those issues have made Gilmore look bad at times.
As a good cornerback, Gilmore has certainly heard the rumblings about his struggles. In Week 5, he was happy to have been able to quiet them.
"“I took it personally,” he said to Mike Giardi of CSNNE.com. “I knew what was happening wasn’t because of what type of player I am. I wasn’t getting beat. It was a communication thing. That was the only thing I needed to clean up.”"
Overall, the Patriots’ defense was able to have their best game of the season against the Buccaneers. New England simplified some things and played a lot of soft zone coverage and it really worked out well.
Mike Evans was predicted to have a monster game, however, he was held in check by his standards. Stopping Evans certainly helped contribute to New England winning the game. While Jameis Winston did end up throwing for over 300 passing yards, a lot of that came in the fourth quarter when the Patriots had the lead.
Next: 5 Winners and Losers from Week 5
It was certainly a good sign to see Gilmore and the defense play better against the Buccaneers in Week 5. Now, they will have a few extra days to continue to work on things before they play the New York Jets next week.