Sunday 7: Phillip Dorsett reacts to 23 straight catches, opens up on re-signing with Patriots

Ryan Hannable
September 22, 2019 - 7:11 am
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1. Phillip Dorsett is in the midst of quite the streak. In the regular season, the wide receiver has caught the last 23 passes thrown his way. According to NFL Media, it is currently tied for the eighth-longest streak since 2009 (as far back as the data goes), and is currently the longest active streak in the NFL. In addition, it’s the second-longest streak since 2009 by a wide receiver, trailing Saints wide out Michael Thomas (27 straight catches, 2018). While it’s an impressive streak, it doesn’t mean all that much to Dorsett. “I am not a stat guy, really,” he said in the locker room Friday. “I am a guy just doing my job. I just go out there and play. I love the game so I go out there and try as hard as I can.” With Antonio Brown no longer on the roster, Dorsett will likely get quite a bit more targets than he would have otherwise moving forward.

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2. Before Brown was released, there was quite a bit of discussion regarding Dorsett’s role considering he was the No. 4 receiver behind Brown, Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon. It was the second straight year his role was diminished because of a mid-season addition, but speaking before the release of Brown, it didn’t bother him. “I am not a selfish person. I just do my job,” he said. “Whatever they need me to do, I’ll do. I am not a robot. I just love playing, honestly.” Dorsett was a free agent last offseason and despite multiple offers, he ultimately decided to return to the Patriots because he wanted to continue winning. “That is why I chose to come back. I wanted to be here. I like to win,” he said. “I like being in this locker room. These guys are like a family, the coaches. I just love playing.” These responses show Dorsett really is an ideal member of the team given his unselfish attitude.

3. While we hit on it in our piece following Brown being released, there has to be some sense of relief in the Patriots locker room. From the beginning, players had to answer questions about a guy they didn’t even know and it likely put some players in some uncomfortable situations. And it seems it went beyond the locker room. ESPN’s Adam Schefter said on Ordway, Merloni & Fauria Friday that there were some people in the organization who were against the signing from the beginning.

4. Many are wondering if Brown will be signed by another team in the league and it seems like the NFL is warning teams against it. The statement it released Friday night said the league is looking into multiple allegations against him and since he’s a free agent he cannot be placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt list. Based on the statement, that seems very possible if he were to sign with a team. Do not be surprised if Brown is not signed by another team until the NFL completes its investigation. According to BetOnline, the odds on him playing in the league this year are plus-200 (2/1).

5. It was interesting listening to Bill Belichick talk about Jamie Collins earlier in the week. He spoke very highly of him, and it appears like the Patriots learned from how they used him during his first tenure with the team and are doing things differently this time around. “Jamie's a very special player,” he said. “He's very smart, instinctive. He's got a great nose for the ball in the passing game and in the running game. He's got the physical skills to play at the end of the line and off the line, to blitz, to play in coverage, play against the run and play against the pass. So we're able to do different things with him and he's been productive and effective in all of them. So it's really exciting to have that type of player in your system, and to have players he can work with.” 

6. Luke Falk, who will start at quarterback for the Jets Sunday is a huge Tom Brady fan. The quarterback has looked up to Brady since he first started playing football. It isn’t just on the field, either. Falk is a big believer in the TB12 Method. Here’s our story from the 2018 NFL combine.

7. For the first time all year, this coming week likely will be the first normal week at Gillette Stadium. With Brown out of the picture, there shouldn’t be as much media attention following Sunday’s game, making for a more relaxed week. Looking ahead, next Sunday in Buffalo could be a meeting of two, 3-0 teams with the Bills hosting the Bengals this week. It could be an interesting early AFC East battle where the Bills fans will certainly be into the game.

Related: Patriots vs. Jets: 3 keys to the game, fun facts, prediction