The New England Patriots have righted the ship after a rough two week stretch in September. After falling to 1-2 with rough losses to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions, people thought it was the beginning of the end.
Once again, those people have been proven wrong. All the Patriots have done since those two games are won five consecutive games, including two on the road.
While the Patriots have gotten on track and seemingly figured things out, there are still some areas of concern on the roster. Arguably the biggest area of concern is the team’s pass rush.
Coming into Week 8, the Patriots were second to last in the NFL with only nine sacks in seven games. They added three more sacks against the lowly Buffalo Bills in their Week 8 game, but that shouldn’t change things in New England. The pass rush needs a boost, and the trade deadline will provide them a chance to do that.
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Getting three sacks against the Bills does not change anything for New England. Their pass rush is poor, and there are some players that are on the trade block that can help change that. One of those players is Dante Fowler Jr.
Fowler was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Fowler missed his rookie season because of injury but has not truly lived up to his billing as the No. 3 overall pick. He was productive last season with eight sacks, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 10 quarterback hits. This season, however, the production hasn’t been there.
Fowler has only two sacks in seven games with one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He has added only one more quarterback hit, as well. He has seen his playing time dip this season, so a change of scenery could be in the cards.
Adrian Clayborn has not provided the boost New England had hoped for when they signed him as a free agent; he registered his first sack last week against the Chicago Bears.
New England would love to add someone with the pass rushing chops of Fowler. He would instantly upgrade a pass rush that has been lacking. Adding another player capable of disrupting the opponent’s offense is key is the Patriots want to make another Super Bowl run.