Bill Belichick Seems To Think Highly Of This Under-The-Radar Bills Wideout

Gabriel Davis has four touchdowns in the past three games


New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick understands the Bills will be without top slot receiver Cole Beasley in the Week 16 matchup at Gillette Stadium, but also knows Buffalo has another wideout very capable of stepping up in his absence.

Belichick was quite complimentary of Bills second-year receiver Gabriel Davis while speaking with reporters Wednesday. Davis, as Belichick acknowledged, could be one specific player who sees an expanded role with Beasley sidelined due to testing positive for COVID-19.

“His skills are quite a bit different than (Cole) Beasley’s, but he does play (in the slot), as you mentioned, as Cole did. He’s been really a versatile player for them,” Belichick said of Davis, who started the season as Buffalo’s fourth receiver behind the headliner Stefon Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders and Beasley. “We’ll see how it goes this week, but he’s capable of playing all three positions.”

Davis had his best performance of the season in Week 15 against the Carolina Panthers, filling in for Sanders and playing a season-high 90% of offensive snaps. He registered the second most receptions of 10 or more yards (five), according to SportRadar, behind only Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill. He also ranked fifth among wideouts in regards to targeted air yards (135) behind wideouts like DK Metcalf and Justin Jefferson.

Davis recorded his first multi-touchdown game in Week 15, giving him six scores in 14 games this season. He has 29 receptions for 470 yards this season — but 19 of those receptions and 337 of those yards have come within the last six games. He has four touchdowns during those six weeks, as well.

“They like to move Diggs around, so his flexibility helps,” Belichick added of Davis. “He’s been a productive player at all three levels: down the field, intermediate routes, and catch-and-run routes. He’s also a very good blocker and he’s been a key guy for them in the run game as well. Certainly, much bigger, more physical presence than Beasley is on some of those plays where they involve him in the running game.

“He’s a really good player for them that they have a role for,” Belichick continued. “His role may expand this week. It wouldn’t surprise me if it did, but we’ll see. He’s done a good job for them.”

That will be the task of the Patriots defense that ranked first in points allowed and third in passing yards and touchdowns allowed.

Patriots-Bills is set for 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.

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