In 2021 stopping the run became a massive problem for the Patriots in the playoff game against the Bills. As coach Bill Belichick looks for answers on how to fix the issues on the defense, does it start on the defensive end?
Returning at the ends are starters Lawrence Guy, Henry Anderson, and Deatrich Wise Jr. But the big question is will this be the formula, or do they add someone to the unit? In this article, we will look at some options for the Patriots they will have in front of them.
Defensive Ends Need To Be A Cut Above The Rest
Going into his sixth season with the Patriots, Defensive End Deatrich Wise Jr. looks to set the tone on defense in 2022. Coming out of college at Arkansas, he was a fourth-round pick in 2017 and was counted on as a solid contributor. However, he primarily contributed as a reserve player on the defense. Wise Jr. signed a four-year 22-million-dollar deal in March of 2021.
Going into the 2021 season and the recent contract he signed, he knew he had to step up and prove himself to the team. So in 2021, he played in 16 games with 34 tackles, of which 21 were solo tackles. He also had three quarterback sacks and four pass breakups on the defense. Going into the 2022 season, Deatrich will look to improve on his 2021 season and take over the end of the Patriot’s Defense this season.
He certainly has the skillset and body type to make a difference rushing the passer and holding the line of scrimmage, like in this clip below. Again, it’s short but focused.
Challenges To Solidify D-Line Remain In 2022
Lawrence Guy is a mainstay on the Patriots’ defense. Lawrence is entering his 5th season with Patriots this season after joining the team from Baltimore in 2016. He looks to team up with Wise Jr. on the end with defensive tackle Christian Barmore and, Outside Linebacker Matt Judon to form a solid line in 2022.
In 2021 Lawrence netted 46 tackles splitting 23 solo and 23 with help and one and a half sacks. Over his career in New England, Lawrence is always at the right spot at the right time, making key plays. The Patriots are counting on him to continue to provide solid playmaking as they look to regain a dominating line on defense in 2022.
2021 Signee Returns From Injury To Make The Cut
Henry Anderson had huge expectations last season as he signed on from the Jets for two years. However, as he enters the final season of his contract, this is a make-or-break year with the team.
Last season he only played in four games due to a Week Four Torn Pec injury against the Buccaneers he suffered. Anderson was then placed on injured reserve for the season.
Therefore, Anderson must come in and regain his form this season to help his chance to make the final roster.
Possible Surprise & Closing Statement
As the Patriots look to bolster the defensive line position, an intriguing option may be resigning former Superbowl Champion Trey Flowers, who was a dominant force maintaining the weak side and holding the line of scrimmage in New England.
The Patriots’ Edge play needs dominant unstoppable space in 2022 led by versatile veterans Deatrich Wise Jr. and Lawrence Guy to stop the powerful running backs in the AFC East this season.
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