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Opposing Player Spotlight: Week 2, New England Patriots

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The New England Patriots acquired one of the best players in the NFL this past week, and he’s making his debut against Miami.

Oakland Raiders v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Well that was rough...

Anyone who had the pleasure (if you can call it that) of watching the Miami Dolphins get absolutely walloped by the Baltimore Ravens last week knows that the former has a long way to go before reaching contender status. Most fans knew this season would be a tough go given the purge of proven talent from the roster, but most also had accepted that such a purge was necessary for success in the future.

While that theory still holds true, here’s to hoping that head coach Brian Flores can keep the team somewhat competitive in games going forward. That’ll be a tough task against the defending champs and their newly acquired top talent this week. Speaking of which...

Each week of the 2019 season, I will be highlighting one player on the team squaring off with the Miami Dolphins that ‘phins fans should be watching out for. This week, that player is New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown.

Do you have a player recommendation for next week’s spotlight? Let me know on Twitter @HierJustin.

Fact Check: Antonio Brown

Position: WR

Experience: 10th season

Age: 31

Height/Weight: 5’10”, 185 lbs

College: Central Michigan

Stat Review

Brown was traded from the Oakland Raiders to the Patriots after a drama-filled saga of an offseason that included everything from social media outbursts and hype videos featuring phone conversations with his former head coach to standoffs with his former general manager and frostbitten feet. Given the timing of Brown’s trade, he was unable to play in Week 1, and therefore will make his Patriots debut against the Dolphins. With that said, we’ll be taking a look at his stats from last season.

In 2018, Brown started 15 games and racked up 104 receptions for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns. Brown has now recorded six straight seasons of 1,200+ yards and 8+ receiving touchdowns, a feat that will almost surely place him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame when all is said and done. In his nine seasons in the NFL, Brown has also accumulated more than 12.0 yards per reception seven times, showing that he can be dangerous in all areas of the field.

Key Matchups

It’s yet to be determined just how many snaps Brown will take in his debut with the Patriots (or if he’ll play at all given the current off-the-field scandal he’s involved in). Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is known to include many intricacies in his offense that will surely make learning the playbook a difficult task for Brown, but rest assured, Brown will be a threat to make splash plays if he suits up.

Although fellow wideout Patriots Josh Gordon has the talent to be a #1 pass catcher on his own, Brown is now the most talented wide receiver on New England’s roster, meaning it would be a surprise if superstar cornerback Xavien Howard isn’t shadowing Brown on most plays come Sunday. When Brown is on the field, expect Howard to be lined up across from the 31-year old receiver, which should give fans at least one exciting show in a game that is bound to be fairly lopsided in New England’s favor.