Three up, Three down: Brandin Cooks bursts onto the scene

Sep 24, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks (14) makes a reception against Houston Texans cornerback Johnthan Banks (33) during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

After the most emotionally traumatic Patriots game thus far, they were able to secure a win. There was a lot of action within the game. Great plays were made along with some bad mistakes, but the good has finally outweighed the bad. Here are the players who contributed most:

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Three up

Brandin Cooks

Without a doubt, Brandin Cooks was the MVP in their game against the Texans. Cooks shined from start to finish with little to no trace of struggle. Overall he had five receptions for 131 yards and two touchdowns. Within the opening minutes of the game, he caught a 44-yard pass from Brady that would lead to their first touchdown. In the third quarter, Cooks had a 42-yard catch that he ran in for his first touchdown of the game. At the end of the game, he had an incredible catch for the game-winning touchdown. Then immediately after, Brady targeted Cooks for a 2-point conversion. If any player made the most of their time on the field Sunday, it was Cooks.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady was another huge contributor to their win. Brady went 25-of-35 for 378 yards, 5 touchdowns, and one fumble returned for a touchdown. Considering how terrible the offensive line did at protecting Brady, he made big plays despite the pressure. A number of times that Brady got hit as he was forced to throw as well as following a throw was too many to count. By the end of the game, it was a miracle that he could still take a hit and get back up again on his own. Brady’s almost interception was merely the result of him trying to get rid of the ball as his offensive line failed him yet again. Brady played incredibly given the way in which he was beaten up and put on the spot multiple times throughout the game.

Chris Hogan

Although Chris Hogan didn’t see a lot of snaps this game, his play was similar to Cooks’ in that they both made the most of their time on the field. Hogan finished the night with four receptions for 68 yards and two touchdowns. Both of Hogan’s touchdowns were wide open passes from Brady… why is that? Hogan read the defense and found holes in it. Giant holes. This is Hogan’s second season with the Patriots and he continues to fit in perfectly.

P.S. Shout out to Gronkowski and Amendola for also having a great game. Gronkowski had a touchdown along with crucial catches throughout the game. Amendola kick-started the Patriots’ momentous drive for their game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter.


There’s no way for me to simplify the Patriots’ mistakes to three people this time. Each line of defense struggled or failed to do their job in this game. The offense was fortunate enough to get the last touchdown and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat; but if the defense as a whole doesn’t pick up the slack, this won’t happen again.


The Secondary has the most work to do; especially with the Carolina Panthers game coming up. Every player who saw a snap in the safety/cornerback position was beaten at one point for major yardage. The little credit I can give back to them is the defensive line allowing Deshaun Watson to scramble and buy the receivers more time to beat the secondary. However, this is still their job and they just couldn’t keep up and stay on their man.

Offensive Line

The offensive line is next in line for improvement come game day against Carolina. If the secondary and defensive line isn’t playing well during a game, then it’s up to the offensive line to keep Brady open to make his plays to keep up with the other team. That didn’t happen in this game and that’s why the Patriots almost lost. The offensive line did a terrible job protecting Brady. As I said in Brady’s tidbit, he was hit too many times to count during and after plays. If this becomes a trend in their play collectively, then Brady’s chances of being injured will skyrocket as their chances of winning another Super Bowl plummet.

Defensive Line

The defensive line, in general, wasn’t horrible. But they weren’t great either. Overall they did a decent job of pressuring Deshaun Watson; they just couldn’t sack him. Watson was able to scramble for crucial yards in order to get his throws off in time. If the defensive line works on getting to the quarterback faster, then they should be in good shape to take down Cam Newton this weekend.

There was a lot the Patriots (in particular the offense) did efficiently during the game. The defense, in general, has a lot of work to do, but that isn’t to say they can’t improve before facing off against similarly hard teams such as the Carolina Panthers. The Patriots face off against the Panthers this Sunday, October 1. We hope to see much improvement from the defense in particular.

– Caitlyn Allen is a Staff Writer for cover32/Patriots and covers the New England Patriots. Like and follow on and Facebook.


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