1. Kendrick Bourne
With DeVante Parker missing Week 1 due to a knee injury, the Patriots looked to Kendrick Bourne as the team’s WR2 behind JuJu Smith-Schuster.
On one hand, Bourne delivered by turning 11 targets into 6 catches for 64 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Without his efforts, chances are New England wouldn’t have had a chance to win the game.
On the other, his performance wasn’t without some flaws. Bourne’s biggest mistake of the night came in the first quarter when he failed to make a catch on third-and-13 in traffic, resulting in the ball bouncing right to Eagles cornerback Darius Slay, who returned the interception 70 yards for a pick-six.
Although I won’t let Bourne’s mistake completely take away from the positives, he needs to be better in those key moments. The pick-six wound up being the difference-maker after 60 minutes, and it’ll be interesting to see how the loss affects New England’s spot in the standings once the playoffs roll around.
Nevertheless, Bourne showed a lot of upside and deserves to be featured going forward. At the same time, it’s hard imagining him seeing double-digit targets all that often, especially once Parker returns and Smith-Schuster gets his feet under him.
If Bourne proves in Week 2 that he can be the version of himself that found the end zone twice in Week 1, the future of the Pats’ offense looks bright this year. However, if he winds up being the version of himself that can’t make those clutch catches, don’t count on him being as much of a focal point as time goes on.
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