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Samsonite Make Your Case: Is Dorsett now No. 1?

After leading the wide receivers with seven catches in the opener, has Phillip Dorsett taken over as the No. 1 receiver?


There's nothing like Week 1 in the NFL to cause massive overreactions all around the league. The Saints went from Super Bowl contenders to bums, the Chiefs vaulted into contention with Patrick Mahomes and the Steelers slogged their way through a miserable tie.

Of course there's plenty of time left before we can draw any conclusions from what we saw, but that won't stop us from trying. Here in Foxborough the Patriots came away with a hard-fought 27-20 victory over Houston, and there were some elements of the game that came as a surprise.

Among those was the play of Phillip Dorsett, who led the wide receiver corps with seven receptions. He tied for the team lead in that department with Rob Gronkowski, and seeing him work well with Tom Brady led many to come away with plenty of hope for the future.

But it was just one week so with Dorsett's performance in mind this week's Samsonite Make Your Case question is: Has Phillip Dorsett emerged as the Patriots No. 1 receiver?

PFW's Andy Hart says ...


I thought Phillip Dorsett had a really solid spring and then picked right up where he left off at the start of training camp. He then had some struggles as the preseason got underway, but by the time it was over he was showing signs of being a potential contributor once again.

He was excellent in the Week 3 game in Carolina when he caught all four passes thrown his way by Tom Brady, the last coming to extend a drive on fourth down. That was a big development but I still needed to see it during the regular season.

After watching him in the opener against Houston, I now fully believe that Dorsett is a legitimate contributor in this offense. He has great speed to get deep, and he also has shown quickness in tight spaces to get open. He appears to run good routes and has shown the ability to grasp the system, which was evidenced by his work late in the first half in the hurry-up drill in which he caught three straight passes including a touchdown.

Dorsett has the ability to work underneath zones out of the slot, and those quick-developing plays will be important to Brady, who has always excelled in that kind of attack. It may only be until Julian Edelman returns, but right now Dorsett is your No. 1 receiver.


PFW's Paul Perillo says ...


First, let me start by saying I've been the president of the Phillip Dorsett fan club. Since the spring began he's done nothing but make plays on the practice field – and now in game action. But I still think Chris Hogan is the Patriots top receiver, and it's not really close.

Hogan was having a terrific season in 2017 before he injured his shoulder. It took him a while to return to full strength but he had another strong game in the Super Bowl. The Texans game wasn't his best, but I'm not ready to write him off after just one week.

Tom Brady tends to rely on guys who have consistently made plays for him in the past. Hogan is by far Brady's most productive wide receiver and he will continue to make plays as the weeks move on. He has good size and speed, and also has shown the versatility to play outside as well as in the slot.

Hogan will not be confused with Julian Edelman as far as production goes, but until the slot machine returns he will hold down the de facto role as the Patriots top receiver.


Now it's your turn to cast a vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll question.

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