3 Patriots Who Need to Play More in Week 6

It's time to start playing the kids.
3 Patriots who need to play more in Week 6 against the Raiders.
3 Patriots who need to play more in Week 6 against the Raiders. / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 3

2. Demario Douglas

At times, Demario Douglas has looked like New England's best wide receiver this year. He's been explosive and has proven to be one of the team's few reliable playmakers, averaging 14.3 receiving yards per catch (most on the team for anyone with 5+ targets).

The problem is that he hasn't been very involved in the offense. A costly fumble in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins didn't help, causing him to get benched and putting him in Belichick's doghouse. Douglas caught 4-of-7 targets for 40 yards in Week 1, but since then he has just 6 catches on 10 targets in the last four weeks combined.

That needs to change in Week 6. Bill O'Brien needs to find ways to get the ball into Douglas' hands more, whether that's through the air or on the ground (he had 1 rushing attempt for 5 yards in Week 3).

Douglas is a 22-year-old rookie, so he's going to make the mistakes. But this is the time to let him play through those mistakes and learn from them. The upside he brings to the table with his speed and athleticism can't be ignored.

Besides, what's the alternative? We've seen enough of DeVante Parker and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Douglas has the potential to be a key part of this offense going forward, but he needs the reps.