Patriots’ Brandin Cooks ‘Trending Positively’ As He Climbs Stat Leader Board

FOXBORO, Mass. — Some of New England’s more pessimistic and controversial media members were down on Patriots offseason wide receiver addition Brandin Cooks early in the season, though it never was clear why.

Cooks was on pace for a 1,000-yard season after two games and had already begun to show big-play ability in Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Those doubts have faded now that Cooks ranks third in the NFL in receiving yards with 537 on 28 catches with three touchdowns.

Cooks is on pace for a career-high 1,227 yards with 64 catches and seven touchdowns. His 46 targets rank fourth on the team behind Rob Gronkowski (48), Chris Hogan (47) and James White (47). He leads the Patriots in receiving yards and all qualified NFL receivers in yards per catch.

“I think I’m trending positively on growing and coming together with Tom (Brady) and the offense,” Cooks said Wednesday. “Not where I want to be, and I’m working for that, but I think we’re going in the right direction.”

Cooks showed off his rapport with Brady on an 18-yard back-shoulder reception Sunday night that was impossible for Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford to defend.

Cooks acknowledged that chemistry with a quarterback is important on back-shoulder receptions because of the timing involved.

The Patriots traded first- and third-round picks to the New Orleans Saints for Cooks and a fourth-round selection. It’s safe to say the decision to acquire Cooks is paying off seven games into the season.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images

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