3 moves Patriots must make to contend in AFC East after DeAndre Hopkins snub
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After the Houston Texans handed off All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals, the New England Patriots were left in the dust. If the Patriots have any hopes of competing for the AFC East crown, they must make at least three key moves in order to stay afloat in the competitive AFC East. With the NFL Draft in full gear, the Patriots have the opportunity to make some moves that will shape the 2019 season. Here are the three must-make moves for the Patriots this season.
3 moves Patriots must make to contend in AFC East after DeAndre Hopkins snub

Table of Contents

1. Refreshing the Receiving Corps: The Aftermath of the DeAndre Hopkins Snub

In March of 2020, the Houston Texans made a shocking decision to trade away All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona – a move that left their receiving corps in disarray.

Now, the Texans must refocus and find capable replacements for the star wide receiver. They signed Randall Cobb and traded for Brandin Cooks, two experienced veterans of the league. Cobb is a former Pro-Bowler who can bring veteran leadership to the group. Cooks, an Olympian, is a deep threat with 4 seasons of 1,000 receiving yards under his belt. Both fit the bill as reliable options in the receiving corps.

The team also drafted Isaiah Coulter and Darren Fells in the draft. While Fells is a veteran tight end, Coulter is a younger player who joins the team from Rhode Island – he was a popular target for their quarterback in college. They also have two promising practice squad members in Chad Hansen and Steven Mitchell, two relative unknowns who have a chance to prove themselves moving forward.

  • Randall Cobb and Brandin Cooks: Veteran leaders with a solid track record
  • Isaiah Coulter and Darren Fells: Draft picks who can contribute in the short term
  • Chand Hansen and Steven Mitchell: Unknowns with an opportunity to prove themselves

1. Refreshing the Receiving Corps: The Aftermath of the DeAndre Hopkins Snub

2. Finding Quality Weapons in the Draft and Free Agency

NFL teams need to make sure they are doing their due diligence to find and acquire the best players they can find. This is especially true when it comes to . Here are a few strategies teams should consider in their search:

  • Do Your Research: NFL teams should arm themselves with as much knowledge as possible, from the scouting report to the player interview, in order to make the best decisions when it comes to selecting players in the draft or free agency.
  • Find Sleepers: While big-name players can all be game-changers, teams should also look for hidden gems. Scouring the roster of small-schools could be a great way to find overlooked talent that gives a team a competitive edge.
  • Rely on Data: NFL teams must also use advanced analytics to accurately measure the effectiveness of potential draftees and free agents. This data can help teams make better decisions on players and ensure they get the most out of their players.

Having quality weapons is essential to build a successful NFL team. It is the responsibility of NFL teams to perform quality research and use advanced analytics to make sure they get the best players they can in both the draft and free agency.

3. Replacing the Departed: An Analysis of New Patriot Running Backs

For the New England Patriots, the 2019 season marks the dawn of a new era. Tom Brady is gone, and in his place, the team has acquired three new running backs. While the change has certainly caused a stir among the fan base, the new players may be just the weapons the Patriots need in their new Brady-less offense.

First, there’s Damien Harris; the former Alabama standout was drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft, and he boasts a wealth of collegiate experience. He’s an explosive runner who can pick up chunks of yards with ease, and can be especially useful in short yardage situations. For a team looking to establish a consistent running game, Harris could be the answer.

  • Sony Michel: A first round pick in 2018, Michel has already made his presence known in the NFL. He has fantastic vision, and often manages to make the most of whatever running lanes are available. He runs with aggression and power, and with a knack for finding the end zone.
  • James White: A proven veteran, White is a pass-catching specified back. He can be a great outlet for the quarterback in the up tempo-style of offense the Patriots are known for. He can also make plays in the backfield, adding another facet to the offense.

The three new faces at running back highlight the Patriots’ commitment to change following the departure of Tom Brady. Whether they can be successful remains to be seen, but if history is any indication, this trio of players could be the spark the Patriots need to get their offense moving again.

4. Building a Winning Defense: How to Secure an AFC East Title

The AFC East is a competitive division in the NFL, so a team wishing to take the title will need to have a superlative defensive performance. Whether you’re looking for championship glory or you’re on the hunt for a playoff berth, here are four key elements to building a winning defense.

  • Understand the Value of Different Defenses: Every situation requires a different defensive strategy. Knowing when to deploy exactly which formation allows you to maximize your chances of success. Learn to identify the specific types of defensive sets needed to combat the offense you’ll be facing.
  • Stress Discipline: Discipline is essential to defensive success. Players need to concentrate on their assignment and know their individual responsibilities. When everyone does their job, the whole unit is more likely to succeed.
  • Stay True to the Scheme: Understanding the scheme and executing it faithfully is key in building a solid defense. Great defense schemes give players an opportunity to make plays in certain situations. Knowing the scheme inside out gives your players the confidence to make plays when they arise.
  • Find Players to fit Your Core: Identify the players who best fit the defensive scheme. From pass rushers to linebackers, it’s important to find players who fit your system. Sticking to the scheme’s core principles and finding talented players who understand their assignments helps to create an efficient, effective defense.

The AFC East is filled with talented defensive players, so the competition is fierce. But with proper knowledge of defensive plays, disciplined execution, and the right personnel, any team has the opportunity to build a winning defense and earn an AFC East title.


Q: What move do the Patriots need to make to stay competitive in the AFC East?

A: The Patriots need to make three critical moves in order to remain competitive in the AFC East. First, they should focus on signing veteran wide receivers to replace the production of DeAndre Hopkins. Second, they should make sure they tackle effectively on defense, as their success in the past has been linked to their ability to stop opponents from scoring. Finally, they need to be sure to solidify their offensive line, as it was a weak spot even prior to Hopkins’ departure.


By trading for DeAndre Hopkins, the Buffalo Bills have raised the stakes in the AFC East and placed the New England Patriots in a precarious position. Yet, with three key moves, the Patriots can try to keep pace with their division rivals and go back to the playoffs for another run at the Lombardi Trophy. With their shrewdness, expertise, and the addition of some needed playmaking talent, the Patriots could soon find themselves back at the top of the division yet again.

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