Patriots-Falcons Takeaways: Should Johnson Bademosi Maintain Defensive Role?


The New England Patriots gave just a 2019 sixth-round draft pick to the Detroit Lions for cornerback Johnson Bademosi in September. That’s looking like the biggest bargain of the summer.

Bademosi, nicknamed by as Johnny B. Bad, has let up just six catches for 70 yards over the past two weeks as a starting cornerback in the Patriots’ dramatically improving defense.

Has he earned a starting role moving forward? Here’s what we observed from the Patriots’ 23-7 win over the Atlanta Falcons through the fog.

LB Kyle Van Noy: five catches on five targets, 76 yards
SS Patrick Chung: 7-9, 53 yards
CB Malcolm Butler: 5-6, 44 yards, TD, PBU
CB Johnson Bademosi: 3-4, 31 yards, PBU
FS Duron Harmon: 1-2, 16 yards, PBU
LB Cassius Marsh: 2-2, 13 yards
CB Jonathan Jones: 0-3, PBU
FS Devin McCourty: 0-1
DE Trey Flowers: 0-1

— The Patriots’ pass-coverage unit had their best game of the season and it wasn’t even close. They gave up a decent amount of receptions but did a nice job of limiting the yards per catch and held an opposing quarterback below 300 passing yards for the first time this season; the Falcons’ passing attack generated just 223 yards on the Patriots’ defense.

— At what point to the Patriots have to consider leaving Bademosi in the defense even when cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe return from injury? This seems to be the best Bademosi has played on defense during his NFL career, and he’s arguably been the Patriots’ best cornerback over the past two weeks.

— The touchdown Butler let up to Julio Jones was nearly impossible to defend, and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick acknowledged that after the game.

“I mean, the catch Julio made in the end zone — that’s a great play,” Belichick said. “We were right there and he just went up there and made a Julio Jones play that he makes. I don?t know how many other guys in the league make that. So, even when we didn?t make (plays) we were close.”

DE Trey Flowers: QB hit, two hurries
DE Deatrich Wise: three hurries
DT Adam Butler: one sack, one hurry
DT Alan Branch: two hurries
DT Lawrence Guy: two hurries

— It’s tough to complain about a defense that let up just seven points, but the pass rush and containment could have been better Sunday night. The Patriots didn’t get after quarterback Matt Ryan enough and allowed him to rush three times for 37 yards.

— The Patriots were solid against the run for the second straight week but weren’t quite as stout as in Week 6. They let up 83 yards on 19 carries to Falcons not named Matt Ryan.

— Linebacker Kyle Van Noy had two tackles for loss in the run game and has put together two consecutive solid performances.

— Defensive tackle Malcom Brown suffered an ankle injury that knocked him out of the game early. The Patriots will need him back.

OT Nate Solder: five hurries
OT Marcus Cannon: sack, one hurry
G Shaq Mason: one hurry
C David Andrews: hurry

— Brady was sacked twice. Falcons linebacker De’Vondre Campbell came in completely unblocked on one play. Falcons pass rusher Vic Beasley, who Cannon was blocking, also sacked Brady. The sack partially was caused by Solder, who let up pressure forcing Brady to step up into the pocket.

— Guard Joe Thuney and all of the running backs and tight ends didn’t give up any pressures.

WR Danny Amendola: one on four targets
WR Chris Hogan: one on six targets
TE Rob Gronkowski: one on seven targets

— Brady was 3-of-4 for 74 yards on passes of 20 yards or more. He was 4-of-6 for 92 yards on passes over 15 yards.

— Since three of Brady’s eight incompletions were dropped, Pro Football Focus gave him an 82.8 accuracy percentage.

— The Patriots’ four-headed rushing attack will be a pain in the neck for opposing defenses. The Patriots’ four running backs accounted for 157 yards on 31 carries Sunday night. Running back Dion Lewis, who is the Patriots’ most physically gifted running back when healthy, picked up 76 yards on 13 carries. He forced three missed tackles. James White, Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee didn’t force any missed tackles.

— Give credit where it’s due to the Patriots’ offensive line. They helped lead the way for the Patriots’ running backs.

Charting stats via Pro Football Focus Elite

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images

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