New England Patriots: Top 5 concerns heading into 2022 NFL season

Bill Belichick, New England Patriots (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Bill Belichick, New England Patriots (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Kyle Duggar, New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots secondary the X-factor

Arguably the biggest weakness for the Patriots as of now is the secondary.

The most impactful loss from last offseason in New England was undoubtedly cornerback J.C. Jackson, who was second in the NFL in interceptions last season and was named second-team all-pro on top of it.

This departure moved everyone up a spot on the depth chart. The backend of the defense took yet another hit when depth corner Joejuan Williams sustained a season-ending injury in the first preseason scrimmage with the Giants back on Aug. 11.

This leaves Kyle Duggar (who has shown some good playmaking ability), the aging Devin McCourty, Jalen Mills (heavily struggles in man-to-man coverage), Jonathon Jones, and not a whole lot of reinforcement after that.

Adrian Phillips has proved he can be an adequate safety, and new arrival Jabrill Peppers has the potential to contribute, but to have an elite secondary in this league calls for five to six solid players with at least one upper-tier talent.

Cornerback in particular is one of the premier positions in the NFL where you want to have a game-breaker.

Bill Belichick, however, might not agree according to J.C. Jackson’s interview with Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston ahead of the free-agent frenzy last offseason.

"“I guess they feel like they don’t need me,” Jackson explained. “I guess I can’t be that important to them. I know I am, but they’re not showing me.”"

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Letting Jackson go very well could blow up in Belichick’s face, and the injuries on top of it just might bring the mistake to light.