2. WR Jaylen Waddle
Waddle made his mark in college as a deep threat and speed demon, but Miami has utilized him for his ability to make plays after the catch. Waddle, picked No. 6 overall, is just a few receptions short of matching Anquan Boldin’s record for catches by a rookie in a single season, and it all started Week 1 against the Patriots when he hauled in four passes for 61 yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut.
The passing game would be neutered if Waddle is taken out of the game. Tagovailoa might appear to be running a very basic offense, but this is out of necessity because the line in front of him is one of the worst in the league. The edge rushers could absolutely feast in this contest.
The Patriots need to stop Jaylen Waddle.
The Patriots could encroach right near the line of scrimmage to gum up the middle of the field for Waddle. With his safety valve gone, Tagovailoa might need to test one of the best secondaries in the league with his arm, and the Patriots should win that matchup.
Waddle is going to be a nuisance for the Patriots in the coming decade, as he has so much ability as both a vertical threat and possession receiver over the middle. However, given the presence of JC Jackson, they should be able to win the battle on Sunday afternoon.