TE Steve Maneri - New England Patriots
|6-6, 270||Born: 3-20-1988||College: Temple||Drafted: ---|
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Week 7: vs Atlanta Falcons
All TE vs ATL
FBG says: Good matchup. Tom Brady and the Patriots passing game remain deadly, topping 300 yards in 4 of 6 games thus far and sitting fourth in the league in touchdowns. Even in a down Week 6, Brady regrouped to wind up with 257 yards and 2 touchdowns, which looks like his absolute floor. Brady is having success both underneath and down the field, and Brandin Cooks' addition to the roster has been far more valuable than the stat sheet has shown. He's only averaging 4.0 receptions a game, but his eruptive speed and dynamism have opened up the field for Rob Gronkowski to dominate and Chris Hogan to truly break out. With dependable backfield and slot targets to go along with playmakers Cooks and Gronkowski, we can never consider the Patriots' defensive matchup to be prohibitive. It's just too smart, too explosive, and too relentless.
The Falcons are starting to qualify fully as a "funnel defense," meaning that their strong boundary coverage is forcing opposing offenses to work the inside of the field heavily. As a result, we've seen opposing WR1s struggle to produce much. They haven't exactly faced a Murderer's Row of WR1s, but no opposing outside-based receiver has topped 63 yards. (Davante Adams posted a strong game against them, but he saw plenty of time in the slot that day.) Meanwhile, slot targets like Jarvis Landry (8 receptions for 62 yards and 1 touchdown) and Green Bay's Adams/Randall Cobb combination (14-159-1) have feasted. This unit isn't bad by any means - in fact, it boasts the NFL's fourth-best net yards per attempt. But it's one that can be attacked situationally, making opposing role players solidly valuable.
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