Less than 20 seconds into his opening remarks Wednesday, Bill Belichick pinpointed the biggest problem the Patriots will face Sunday against the Chargers.
Defensive end Joey Bosa.
“One of the most disruptive players in the league, as good as anybody we play against,” Belichick said of Bosa. “Run or pass, he’s got a great motor, very strong hands, good instincts. He’s just makes a lot of disruptive plays, Most of the time it’s him making the play, but a lot of time it’s him screwing the play up and forcing the ball to somebody else. So he’s definitely a guy to stop.”
Bosa, a two-time Pro Bowler, started the season by earning a sack in four of the Chargers’ first five games. He collected three more Sunday at Buffalo, plus two QB hits and a pass deflection in Los Angeles’ 27-17 loss. No wonder Belichick later called him a “one-man wrecking crew.”
“I think he does everything well,” Belichick added. “If you just look at the Buffalo game, he made plays against the turn, he made plays on short-yardage, he rushed the passer in passing situations. He sacked the quarterback on play-action situation where he converted a run read into a play-action rush.
“So he’s very instinctive, he’s got tremendous motor. He plays hard, so he never gives up on a play. He makes a lot of play on effort.”
The Pats’ efforts to stop Bosa will fall mostly to offensive tackles Jermaine Eluemunor and Michael Onwenu. Eluemunor replaced started Isaiah Wynn last week in a close home win over the Cardinals, after Wynn was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury the day before. Over the Patriots’ next two games, he’ll face two of the best defensive linemen on the team’s schedule: Bosa and the Rams’ Aaron Donald, a former Defensive Player of the Year.
As for Sunday, the Pats can be expected to help their O-linemen by chipping Bosa on the edge with running backs and providing the occasional double team with tight end Ryan Izzo. Together, they’ll attempt to snap Bosa’s streak of earning a QB hit in every game this season, one of the most impressive ongoing feats in the NFL; a streak not even Donald, the odds-on favorite to be named the next Defensive Player of the Year, can boast.
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