Patriots gridiron news: Stephon Gilmore entered Week 5 on a mission

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 5: Quarterback Jameis Winston
TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 5: Quarterback Jameis Winston /

The New England Patriots secondary played much better during the team’s 19-14 victory Thursday night.  One player entered the game out to prove something.

That one player was cornerback Stephon Gilmore.  Following a short week of ridicule, the New England Patriots $65 million cornerback was out to prove that he could play in the Matt Patricia’s defense.  For one game, at least, he proved that.

"“I was out to prove something,” Gilmore said following the game, via WEEI.  “Just getting used to playing with these guys.  They have a good secondary, D-line and linebackers.  It was fun today.”"

It’s always fun when you win, but Gilmore quickly found out the last few weeks that things can get really ugly in New England when a player is not doing his job.  And how poorly a cornerback of his caliber has performed (or not performed) through Week 4, the finger pointing by everyone outside the organization has been justified.

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"“You know you have to perform,” He continued, referencing his criticism the past few weeks.  “If you don’t, people are going to talk, but when you do, they will love you back again.  As long as my teammates respect what I do, that is all that matters.”"

Although just the one game, Stephon Gilmore redeemed himself by pretty much locking down Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans.  If he continues to do his job, no matter what that is, he will find himself in the good graces of fans once again.  But, he has to maintain consistency in the weeks to come.

For now, he proved when he plays well, the defensive backfield can be a very solid unit.

Rob Gronkowski

FOXBORO, MA – OCTOBER 01: Rob Gronkowski
FOXBORO, MA – OCTOBER 01: Rob Gronkowski /

The New England Patriots tight end did not suit up for the Thursday night matchup due to a mysterious thigh injury.

Cause for concern?

The answer is no according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who reported Friday morning that Gronkowski is expected to play in next Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

Schefter also reported that running back Rex Burkhead will also be ready in Week 6.  Burkhead has not played a game since the Week 2 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

In Bill Belichick’s words

Coming off a short week loss, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was proud of the way his team bounced back.  There were plays they left on the field offensively and penalties they committed on both sides of the ball that were uncharacteristic, but as a whole, the coach was satisfied to get the win.

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"“I’m just very proud of our football team tonight,” Belichick said, via “Coming off a tough game on Sunday and going on the road Thursday night, I thought they really responded with a great effort this week in preparation and getting ready for the game.”"

He went on to compliment how competitive the team was and applauded the improved defensive effort.