New England Patriots: It’s time to acknowledge Kendrick Bourne

Kendrick Bourne #84 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
Kendrick Bourne #84 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots just keep winning. They made it six in a row against the Tennessee Titans this afternoon, with the final score being 36-13.

There were plenty of contributors to this victory in all three phases of the game. However, the biggest factor for the Patriots was Kendrick Bourne. Bourne caught five passes for 61 yards and two touchdowns.

It’s time that Bourne gets some recognition. He has been arguably the most reliable target on the Patriots since Week 3 against the New Orleans Saints, where he was one of the lone bright spots in an ugly loss.

That game seems like forever ago now that the Patriots find themselves as one of the top teams in the AFC, but one thing that hasn’t changed since then is Bourne’s steady production.

Is Kendrick Bourne a legit top receiving threat for the New England Patriots?

Through 12 games, Bourne has 42 catches for 623 yards and five touchdowns. He is just 45 yards and one touchdown away from setting a new career high in both categories.

He may not be peppered with targets, but more often than not Bourne makes plays that provide a big momentum boost for the Patriots. There was no greater example of that than Bourne’s 41 yard touchdown catch while the Patriots were only up by six.

That score made it a two possession game and the Patriots did not look back after that point. Bourne does a nice job of eluding the first tackler, and sheds another one after a great block by Jakobi Meyers.

On a third down and six no less, that is a huge play that ultimately changed a game that was closer than the scoreboard would lead you to believe.

Bourne’s ability to get yards after the catch has greatly benefited Mac Jones in his rookie season. He has essentially carved out the role that many were expecting tight end Jonnu Smith to fill for the offense, although Smith did have a solid game against the Titans that is hopefully a sign of things to come.

The answer is probably not, no. But as a complimentary piece in this offense, Bourne is well overdue for some love due to the way he has played this season.

The hot topics on the Patriots are obviously guys like Mac Jones, Matthew Judon, and J.C. Jackson. Those are the three pillars of this roster at the moment. With that said, things don’t work as well without Bourne making the plays that he has made to this point.

The Patriots may not have a true number one target, but the way this group works around each other has ensured that the passing attack is solid either way. This system is helping Bourne make a name for himself in his fifth year in the NFL.

Next. JC Jackson's contract and the new Bourne identity. dark

It’s clear that the New England Patriots saw something in Kendrick Bourne during his time with the San Francisco 49ers, and it has paid off in a big way during the 2021 season. Bourne has become quite an asset in his first season with the team, and there is still room to grow.