2. JC Jackson
Stephon Gilmore will garner all the headlines, but JC Jackson needs to have a big game for the Patriots.
To say that the play of New England’s formidable cornerback unit will be imperative in determining the outcome of Sunday night’s matchup would be an understatement.
As we know, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett form one of the most dynamic wide receiving corps in the NFL, and it’s really no surprise both are coming off huge games against the Falcons, combining for 12 receptions and 187 yards and a touchdown.
For as much spotlight as Stephon Gilmore generally garners (understandably so), JC Jackson is equally overlooked in the Patriots’ secondary. The 24-year-old stud picked up right where he left off last season in Week 1, recording what ultimately proved to be a game-sealing interception in the end zone off Ryan Fitzpatrick to go with a fumble recovery and two passes defensed.
According to Pro Football Focus, Jackson ranked fourth among all CBs last season in man coverage with an 85.5 grade. Seattle loves running schemes that get its receivers in one-on-one matchups, so the Patriots will need the third-year pro to be atop his game. If he isn’t, Wilson will put up yet another impossible stat line.