Jerry Jeudy is down for a month with a high-ankle sprain, and I am reminded how good Tim Patrick was around the goal line last year. He’s a good player in that part of the field, and he’s now moving back into a starter-type role.
The dividends were immediate in Week 1. Patrick caught a short touchdown against the Giants. And I think there’s some potential for some more payoff in the upcoming games. Denver’s other big receiver, Courtland Sutton, is still working his way back into form after reconstructive knee surgery.
Pulling up the 2020 numbers, when Patrick was a starter for the bulk of the season, he caught 7 of the 9 passes thrown his way inside the 10-yard line, with 6 of those going for touchdowns. There were 24 wide receivers with at least 8 targets in that part of the field, and only four had higher scoring rates than Patrick. All guys who are of the household name variety: Davante Adams, Adam Thielen, Tyler Lockett, JuJu Smith-Schuster.
|WIDE RECEIVERS INSIDE THE 10 (2020 season)|
|JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pitt.||9||8||6||1||78%|
|Tyler Lockett, Sea.||9||8||7||0||78%|
|Adam Thielen, Min.||15||12||10||1||73%|
|Davante Adams, G.B.||19||17||13||0||68%|
|Tim Patrick, Den.||9||7||6||0||67%|
|A.J. Brown, Ten.||8||5||5||0||63%|
|Mike Evans, T.B.||16||9||9||0||56%|
|Tyreek Hill, K.C.||12||10||6||0||50%|
|Keenan Allen, LAC||8||5||3||1||50%|
|Brandon Aiyuk, S.F.||10||6||5||0||50%|
|Calvin Ridley, Atl.||13||6||5||1||46%|
|Christian Kirk, Ariz.||10||5||4||0||40%|
|DK Metcalf, Sea.||10||4||4||0||40%|
|Jarvis Landry, Cle.||8||5||3||0||38%|
|Russell Gage, Atl.||8||3||3||0||38%|
|Allen Robinson, Chi.||9||4||3||0||33%|
|DeVante Parker, Mia.||9||3||3||0||33%|
|Justin Jefferson, Min.||11||4||1||2||27%|
|Sammy Watkins, K.C.||8||4||2||0||25%|
|Chase Claypool, Pitt.||12||3||3||0||25%|
|Randall Cobb, Hou.||8||2||2||0||25%|
|Amari Cooper, Dall.||10||3||2||0||20%|
|DeAndre Hopkins, Ariz.||11||5||2||0||18%|
|Nelson Agholor, L.V.||8||3||1||0||13%|
Denver is playing Jacksonville this week, and there should be some points in that game. The Jaguars were pretty awful in their opener.
I would like Patrick more if the Broncos weren’t overloaded with other quality weapons. Sutton could become a really good player at any time. Noah Fant might be a top-10 tight end. And KJ Hamler is pushing to become a playmaking kind of guy (he caught 2 TDs in the preseason, including an 80-yarder, and dropped a 50-yard touchdown last week).