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TE Martellus Bennett - New England Patriots

6-6, 259Born: 3-10-1987College: Texas A&MDrafted: Round 2

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Photo: Matt Marton, US Presswire

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Preseason player page

He is listed as questionable on this week's official injury report.

News you need to know

From Mark Wimer's Monday injury report (Mon Jan 23): Bennett has been fighting through an ankle injury this season - Bennett has reportedly been playing with a cracked bone and bone spurs in his ankle and will likely need surgery after the season. He'll have two weeks to get as healthy as possible before playing in the 51st Super Bowl.

General News (Fri Feb 3): partially participated in Friday's practice and is questionable to play this week.

General News (Wed Feb 1): partially participated in Wednesday's practice.

Week 21: at Atlanta Falcons

All TE vs ATL

Mark and Joe say: Good matchup. Tom Brady has posted a phenomenal set of records during his post-season performances - for example, Brady is the all-time leader in Super Bowl completions (164), passing yards (1,605) and passing touchdowns (13) - but he comes into this Super Bowl with several of his targets ailing - Martellus Bennett (knee, ankle), Malcolm Mitchell (knee), Danny Amendola (ankle) and Chris Hogan (thigh) were all limited during practice Friday, January 27 - keep an eye on how the various receivers progress/don't progress in their recoveries this week. So far during the 2017 playoffs, Brady has thrown 18/38 for 287 yards, two TDs and two interceptions vs. Houston (with two sacks taken for -8 yards and several other hits/pressures), followed by a stong 32/42 for 384 yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions thrown (with two sacks taken for -10 yards) against the Steelers two weekends ago. He threw to three main targets against the Steelers - Hogan (12 targets for 9/180/2 receiving), Julian Edelman (10 for 8/118/1) and Bennett (five for 5/32/0) - Mitchell (four for 1/5/0) and Amendola (two for 2/12/0) were sparingly employed during the Conference Championship game. Brady has found enough offense to win both games by comfortable margins, and his talents as a quarterback remain formidable. The Falcons' pass defense has averaged 238.0 net passing yards allowed per game, with five passing scores given out vs. three interceptions and five sacks generated during the 2017 post-season. Russell Wilson managed 17/30 for 208 net yards passing, with two TDs and two interceptions thrown at Atlanta in the Divisional round (three sacks taken for -17 yards), while Aaron Rodgers managed 27/45 for 268 net yards passing, three TDs and one interception thrown (with two sacks taken for -19 yards) at Atlanta two weekends ago. Atlanta was ranked 28th in the NFL averaging 266.7 net passing yards allowed per game, with a whopping 31 passing scores given out during regular season (vs. 12 interceptions and 34 sacks generated). Over the final three weeks of regular season, Atlanta averaged 19.8 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks (13th-most in the NFL); 21.8 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers (14th-most); and 8.2 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends (17th in the NFL during that time span). The Falcons have played stronger during the post-season in this phase of the game, though, as the 28.7 net passing yards allowed per game drop in their post-season average demonstrates. Brady is one of the all-time best players at his position, and he has a wealth of post-season experience. The Falcons are a young, brash defensive unit that has improved over the course of 2016-17 - but they are still suspect against the league's top talents, as Aaron Rodgers showed us two weekends ago. Advantage, New England.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPRECYDTDFumLPts
17 at MIA 52 3 33 1 0 9.3
19 vs HOU 64 1 4 0 0 0.4
20 vs PIT 0 5 32 0 0 3.2
21 at ATL 0 5 62 0 0 6.2
21 at ATL PROJ-Dodds * 3 * * * *
21 at ATL PROJ-Tremblay * 3 * * * *
21 at ATL PROJ-Bloom * 5 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2016 Week 20 vs PIT (5 / 5 / 32 / 0 rec)

Though he did have 5 catches, Bennett only turned them into 32 yards, as his longest gain went for 12 yards. His highlight may have been his postgame dancing with the Patriots cheerleaders, but he does deserve some credit for good blocking on the day here and there when called upon.

2016 Week 19 vs HOU (4 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)

As per usual, Bennett was not a focal point of the passing attack. He did get injured a couple times during the game, but for the most part, he wasn't that involved.

2016 Week 17 vs MIA (5 / 3 / 33 / 1 rec)

Though he wasn't integrated into the passing game in a big way, Bennett still managed to snag a short touchdown. He simply slid past defenders up the seam and snared a touchdown while his man coverage defender was far too late to the ball. A fairly simple play, but well executed, and less than stellar defense was taken advantage of.

2016 Week 16 vs NYJ (2 / 2 / 19 / 1 rec)

Though Marty B snagged a touchdown, that was nearly it on the day, with a total of 2 catches. His touchdown was a short seam route that went for 5 yards, with a good catch by Bennett and good location from Tom Brady.

2016 Week 15 vs DEN (4 / 2 / 35 / 0 rec)

Bennett wasn't a huge focal point in the gameplan, as the Patriots attacked the Broncos through the ground game. As a result, he was in on several blocking plays, as has become the norm.

2016 Week 14 vs BAL (4 / 4 / 70 / 1 rec)

For the first time in a while, Bennett had a nice game on the stat sheet, punctuated by a 19 yard touchdown. On the play, Bennett ran step for step with a defender, but snared a lob pass out of the air while being draped in coverage. While the separation wasn't great, the concentration and catch were. Beyond that, Bennett blocked well, and did have a chunk gain of nearly 30 yards on another intermediate pass.

2016 Week 13 vs LA (4 / 2 / 4 / 0 rec)

Though many were expecting a huge game from Bennett due to Gronk's injury, that wasn't the case. Bennett blocked often, and the Patriots used more 2 back and 3 receiver sets, limiting his target volume. Bennett may also still be stinging from some injuries. Expect his passing game role to swing wildly from game to game going forward.

2016 Week 11 vs SF (2 / 1 / 14 / 0 rec)

A golden opportunity for Bennett this week in a choice matchup (49ers) and Rob Gronkowski out of the lineup turned into a dude performance. Bennett did not see a target until the mid-second quarter when a slant route pass went right through his hands. Bennett finally got on the board with an inconsequential out route in the second half. Without red zone opportunities and just two targets, Bennett was the big disappointment for a Patriots offense putting up 30 points and four touchdowns in the road win.

2016 Week 10 vs SEA (7 / 7 / 102 / 0 rec)

Bennett was one of the few players on the Patriots who showed up to play against the Seahawks, taking short passes and often turning them into chunk gains. Bennett looked like Gronk's brother out there, shedding defenders, blocking well, and more. Though his involvement varies from week to week, the Patriots would be wise to continue to use him in the fashion they did against the Seahawks and letting him work after the catch.

2016 Week 8 vs BUF (5 / 4 / 35 / 0 rec)

Bennett blocked quite a bit on the day, and as a result, his stat line was fairly muted. This may be a theme for Bennett on several occasions.

2016 Week 7 vs PIT (2 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)

A fairly quiet day for Bennett, who spent much of the afternoon blocking for a Patriots team that turned run heavy against the Steelers. Better days can be expected for the big tight end.

2016 Week 6 vs CIN (5 / 5 / 48 / 0 rec)

Bennett didn't have the big day he did last week, but was lucky to escape without injury after a low cheap shot by Vontaze Burfict. He saw several targets on the day, but most were short or intermediate as Rob Gronkowski dominated deep balls. Bennett blocked well, as usual, and forms a formidable tight end duo with Gronk.

2016 Week 5 vs CLE (8 / 6 / 67 / 3 rec)

Bennett put on a show, catching all of Tom Brady's touchdown passes. His first touchdown was a comical walk-in off a play action, where Bennett literally walked into the end zone after being wide open. His second was a nifty catch in heavy traffic that many players would have likely dropped or bobbled. The third was a deep shot on a route where Bennett beat his man on an out and go. He was hurt briefly early, but clearly the injury wasn't serious. Bennett may have up and down weeks, but it's clear he will have some huge gains in this offense.

2016 Week 4 vs BUF (6 / 5 / 109 / 0 rec)

Bennett was the only Patriot who did much on the day, highlighted by a 58 yard jump ball reception. He also had a couple catches with some very good yards after catch, and blocked well as usual. However, it wasn't enough, as the Patriots shot themselves in the foot time and time again.

2016 Week 3 vs HOU (3 / 2 / 10 / 0 rec, 1 / 6 / 0 rush)

Bennett was called upon once again to block on a majority of his snaps, as the game plan on offense was fairly conservative. Both his catches were designed plays thrown to him at the line of scrimmage. As expected, his week to week lines will be fairly up and down.

2016 Week 2 vs MIA (6 / 5 / 114 / 1 rec)

Bennett was the beneficiary of some savvy playcalling, good blocking, and masterful quarterback play. Bennett got much of his yardage on short flips after the catch, as there were several designed near-screen type plays for him. His touchdown saw him beat his defender on a go route, and his quarterback looked off the safety in the other direction before firing back at Bennett for the score. He also blocked well once again. Bennett will likely be called upon to block heavily once again the next couple weeks, making him a low-floor, high-ceiling type of play.

2016 Week 1 vs ARI (5 / 3 / 14 / 0 rec)

Bennett was used sparingly in the passing game, but made his presence felt in the blocking game, as he was often responsible for some great pass protection or creating a seal here and there in the run game. He was also the recipient of a phantom holding call that nearly cost the Patriots dearly, when in reality he simply manhandled Chandler Jones. If the Patriots' offensive line continues to struggle, his role may be inconsistent as he may be required to block more. With that said, he still makes for a sizeable red zone target.

More

Latest News

Patriots | Martellus Bennett may not re-sign (Mon Feb 13, 06:39 PM) - The New England Patriots are interested in re-signing impending free-agent TE Martellus Bennett but may not be willing to get into a bidding war for him if other teams are interested, in the opinion of ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss.

Our View: The Patriots have $61 million in cap space this offseason, the fifth-most in the NFL. They've got the money to keep Bennett, but the team does not make a habit of overpaying for talent. It's a fantastic draft class at tight end, so they could let Bennett go and try to add a player at the position in the draft.
link to story   

Patriots | Martellus Bennett getting franchise tag? (Mon Feb 6, 03:25 AM) - There is speculation the New England Patriots may use the franchise tag on TE Martellus Bennett for 2017.

Our View: The franchise tag at tight end is relatively cheap compared to other positions because of the lack of stars, and Bennett could draw a big payday in the offseason as a true two-way tight end who is still playing very well when healthy.
link to story   

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