4 New England Patriots the Las Vegas Raiders should worry about in Week 3
You’re probably thinking to yourself “Chase who?”. The 3rd round draft pick out of Michigan was selected 77th overall by the Patriots and was considered one of the top-5 EDGE players going into that years NFL Draft. As someone who plays that EDGE/LB hybrid of rushing the quarterback and also dropping into coverage, he fit well for the Patriots 3-4 base defense.
Last season, Chase Winovich saw a limited roll only ever amassing 50% of the defensive snaps once in his rookie season, despite playing in all 16 games. What is not surprising is that most of his playing time came from the special teams side of the ball, as most rookies do. But he was able to make the best of what he was given and totaled 5.5 sacks last year.
This year opportunity has presented itself for Winovich. As stated earlier, a key part to this defense in LB Dont’a Hightower is missing due to his decision to opt-out. In the first two games of this season we’ve already seen Winovich’s playing time jump drastically getting 68% of the defensive snaps against Miami and 75% against Seattle. Further more he’s already racked up 1/3 of the total tackles and solo tackles he had all last season in just two games.
Chase Winovich might not be a name you know, but it’s a name you should be aware of heading into Sundays matchup. With guard Richie Incognito being put on IR and rookie John Simpson poised to continue to fill in for him, he could find himself winning a few battles if the young guard needs to kick out our reach second level in the run game.
Further more we saw Kolton Miller struggle at times in pass protection against the Saints. Don’t be surprised if the Patriots dial up a few blitz packages for their young linebacker, as the Raiders deal with injury issues all across the offensive line.