New England Patriots: 3 defensive stars from big victory over the Chargers

Adrian Phillips #21 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Adrian Phillips #21 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Myles Bryant #41 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots star player No. 3: Myles Bryant

There has been a lot of chatter about the Patriots potentially needing to trade for a cornerback at the trade deadline, especially after it was announced top slot corner Jonathan Jones would be forced to miss the rest of the season. The thing is, his replacement may already be on the roster in the form of practice squad call up Myles Bryant.

Bryant found himself getting the majority of the vacant slot cornerback snaps for the second week in a row, and boy did he make the most of them. The picture above pretty perfectly shows Bryant’s impact on the game. He didn’t register a ton of stats, but he was flying all over the field, and made a couple of key plays later on in the game that helped the defense get off the field.

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On the Chargers opening drive of the second half, Bryant brought pressure off a slot blitz on third down that forced Herbert to get rid of the ball, and Los Angeles punted on the next play. On the next drive, Keenan Allen appeared to have caught a pass that would have given Los Angeles a first down on 3rd & 4, but Bryant came in broke it up at the last second, forcing the Chargers to settle for three instead of seven.

Bryant was a weapon all over the field, and played a big part in slowing down the dangerous Allen for most of the afternoon. While he has the makeup of a solid slot corner, his versatility allows him to play deeper off the ball in more of a safety role, or closer to the ball in more of a hybrid safety-linebacker capacity.

It was all hands on deck in New England’s secondary for this one, especially after they lost a couple of key pieces in Jones and Stephon Gilmore earlier this season. Much has been made about needing a replacement for Jones recently, but Bryant has done his best to let the coaching staff know that his replacement is already on the roster.