The best and worst Patriots players from the first half of the 2022 NFL season

The New England Patriots had their bye week at the best time: halfway through. They are 5-4 as the NFL officially started the second half of the season in Week 10.

As the Patriots hope to build on their momentum in recent weeks to make a playoff push, here are their two best and worst players so far this season.

2 best Patriots players so far this season

Matthew Judon

Nobody else could be considered the best Patriots player of 2022, could they?

In case you need a refresher, Judon leads the league in sacks entering Week 10 with 11.5. Not only is he the league leader, but he’s also three ahead of anyone else. He’s also second in quarterback hits (19) and tied for fourth in tackles for loss (10), proving to be a consistent force for the Patriots week over week.

Obviously, Judon is one of the best passers in the game. But he obviously had an impact when he didn’t sack the quarterback too. In Week 9 against the New York Jets, Judon appeared to play a lot of spy to help keep quarterback Zach Wilson from running down the field. Not only did the Patriots manage to contain Wilson behind the line (he only ran once), but they kept moving behind the line of scrimmage as Judon had seven pressures in that game. A pair of those pressures resulted in interceptions, showing the fear Judon puts in opposing quarterbacks with his presence.

The big question will be whether Judon is able to continue playing after the bye week. Last season, he was sack-free in the Patriots’ last four games after the bye. If Judon’s presence can help force turnovers, however, he may not have to sack a lot for the Patriots’ defense to succeed going forward.

Rhamander Stevenson

The Patriots’ second-year running back has been the driving force behind the team’s offense lately.

Stevenson erupted when Damien Harris fell early in the Patriots’ Week 5 win over the Detroit Lions, having to shoulder the burden of the backfield for most of the game. He ended up having the best game of his career, rushing for 161 yards and yet he was praised more by his head coach for blocking passes that day.

Stevenson has only gotten better over the weeks. Arguably his most impressive performance came in Week 8 when he had 71 rushing yards and 72 receiving yards. While he was versatile in this game, the most impressive part of Stevenson’s performance was that 83 of his rushing yards came after contact, meaning he was working from a deficit.

It was a similar story against the Colts in Week 9 when he had 60 rushing yards on 15 carries, but again generated much of the offense for the Patriots as they only had 203 total yards. that day and he scored their only offensive touchdown.

Overall, the Patriots offense would be nothing without Stevenson.

2 Worst Patriots Players So Far This Season

Kendrick Bourne

At the start of the season, many had high hopes for the sidelined veteran as he entered a sophomore in New England. And reasonably, he hit career highs across the board in the first year, catching 55 passes for 800 yards with six touchdowns.

Bourne is far from that production this season.

Now, some of that might not be entirely his fault. He reportedly found himself in the doghouse after struggling in joint practice with the Carolina Panthers and was late for a team meeting before a preseason game. Bourne stayed in the niche through the end of the preseason and into Week 1, when he only played two snaps in the loss to the Miami Dolphins. He recorded a 41-yard reception in one of those snaps.

After that match, Bourne’s snaps slowly started to rise, but the production didn’t quite match up. He’s played in at least 45 percent of the Patriots’ offensive snaps in their last six games (he’s been injured in the other two) and has just seven receptions for 52 yards in that streak.

Bourne has particularly struggled in the last two games against the Jets and Colts. He was only targeted once against New York and had three receptions for just 11 yards against Indianapolis, with most of his receptions coming off screens. He also seemed to struggle to separate on much of his runs against both teams.

RECOMMENDED

Villas in Rexwell ·

Conor Roche ·

Conor Roche ·

Isaiah Wynn

Entering the final year of his rookie contract, the fifth-year offensive lineman had a season no one would want in a contract year.

Wynn switched from left tackle to right tackle early in the season in an effort to allow the Patriots to have their best pass blocker (Trent Brown) protecting Mac Jones’ blindside. While the move mostly worked for Brown, it was already a failure for Wynn.

In the first half of the NFL season, no player was penalized more than Wynn, who was given a league-high nine penalties. Worse still, he constantly gets beat up in pass blocking situations. He gave up 16 pressures, four sacks and two more quarterback hits.

Wynn’s lowest moment of the season came in Week 4 against the Green Bay Packers. At the end of the first quarter of that game, Wynn had a three-game streak in which he gave up a sack and was called for false starts and holding penalties. To make matters worse, the sacking caused Brian Hoyer to have a concussion.

Wynn gave up another crucial sack in this game late in the first half when Rashan Gary destroyed on a rush, sacking Bailey Zappe to force a fumble that ended a promising drive for the Patriots in this game.

That sack of Gary started a streak that saw Wynn go back and forth at right tackle only to lose his job at that position. He appeared to be completely out of right tackle after being retired in Week 8 against the Jets and starting the Week 9 game on the bench. In both games, Wynn moved to left guard, where he played a bit better but still wasn’t great and certainly wasn’t good enough to make up for his poor play earlier in the season.