New England Patriots: 3 interesting storylines to watch Week 2

Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Josh Uche #55 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots storyline No. 3: Josh Uche making a case for more snaps

Josh Uche has been a revelation for the Patriots over the past few months. He dominated the offseason, and managed to stand out in a crowded pass rush group as one of the top players in training camp and the preseason. Uche didn’t see much of the field in Week 1, but when he did, he made his presence known.

Uche only saw 15 snaps on Sunday, but he made the most of them. He had one of the two Patriots sacks in the game, and the way he destroyed the opposing offensive lineman made it one of the top plays of the game. Uche consistently created pressure when he was on the field, and continued his upward trend.

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If Uche continues to play like this, the coaching staff will have no choice but to give him more playing time. He’s already surpassed third year player Chase Winovich on the depth chart, and while he’s not likely to pass Matt Judon or Kyle Van Noy anytime soon, he could be used more often to give those guys a breather.

A quicker way for Uche to find more snaps would be to increase what he can do. Uche’s jump is widely believed to be because his role was simplified to allow him to focus more on rushing the passer than anything else. If Uche can prove to be adept in the run game, or even in coverage from time to time, it will increase his usage as a result.

Even if he stays in his current role, Uche simply cannot be ignored. He has looked capable of being a star pass rusher all throughout the offseason, and he finally began to translate that into the regular season. As a result of Uche’s strong Week 1 performance, don’t be surprised to see him on the field more often in Week 2 against the Jets.