Five Patriots players to watch this season

By Colin Spence

Although we are only two weeks through the NFL season, the New England Patriots have given their fans plenty to talk about. From the offensive attack that dismantled the Bengals, to the dismal second half and defensive collapse against the Jets. If the Patriots want to make it far this season, they’re going to need these five young players to breakout:

  • Patrick Chung: With so many question marks on defense, thanks to injuries once again, it’s going to be important for the second year player to hold things down in the secondary along side Brandon Meriweather. He leads the team in tackles with 22 and almost intercepted a Mark Sanchez pass on Sunday.
  • Rob Gronkowski: The 6-foot-6-inch, 265-pound tight end seems to tower over the rest of his teammates. With that being said, he is the perfect target for Tom Brady once the Patriots get into the red-zone. A team that last year had the third highest trips to the red-zone were only 13th in scoring touchdowns.
  • Aaron Hernandez: Often referred to as the other rookie tight end the Patriots drafted, Hernandez is practically another slot receiver for Brady to use as a secret weapon. He has already proved he was a steal in the fourth round of the draft by recording six catches for 101 yards against the Jets on Sunday.
  • Devin McCourty: If being the first round draft pick wasn’t enough pressure to be put on McCourty, he will continue to be in the starting lineup with Leigh Bodden sidelined for the rest of the season. On top of that, Darius Butler has continued to get burnt, which means the Patriots are really counting on him to be a shutdown cornerback.
  • BenJarvus Green-Ellis: Though his name may be a mouthful, Green-Ellis may be the player that needs to step up the most. The Patriots run game has always been a problem for them ever since Corey Dillon retired. With Lawrence Maroney being traded to the Broncos and Kevin Faulk now out for the season with a torn ACL, now is the time for him to show us what he’s got. Behind an aging Fred Taylor, Green-Ellis is going to get more touches than he could ever dream.

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