Tim Patrick can’t be stopped by man coverage, as Broncos receiver ranks among league’s best

Tim Patrick catches a pass against Dallas. Credit: Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports.
Tim Patrick catches a pass against Dallas. Credit: Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports.

Is Tim Patrick the most underrated wide receiver in the NFL?

There’s a good case for that argument.

Patrick went from deep on the Denver Broncos bench to a crucial part of the team’s offense in 2020 and 2021. In fact, last year he enjoyed a career-high 51 receptions for 742 yards and 6 touchdowns and what made those stats more impressive were his zero drops.

To Broncos fans, Patrick really starting catching on last year. Especially after Courtland Sutton was lost for the season early on. Patrick, also 6’4″ like Sutton, gave the Broncos another towering, physical presence to toss the football to.

Last year, Patrick excelled in his new, expanded role with Drew Lock under center. And this year, he’s taken a step forward — even with the well-earned recognition — with Teddy Bridgewater as his quarterback.

Patrick is finally showing up on the national radar — again filling in valiantly, this time when Jerry Jeudy was injured — and he’s currently on pace for his best year yet.

He’s already scored four times, with 37 receptions for 523 yards. And according to PFF, he’s third-best in the NFL against man coverage:

It’s not just that, Patrick’s been so good against man coverage, he and Bridgewater are enjoying a near-perfect passer rating (perfect is 158.3).

The fourth-year wideout has found a way to use his body effectively, without drawing the pass interference. Like on this 44-yard touchdown from Bridgewater — the 3rd-most accurate passer at 69.2% — over rookie phenomenon Trevon Diggs.

He also has amazing body control, like the toe-tap touchdown against the Chiefs last year.

Of course, he’s benefits from Sutton usually lining up opposite of him, meaning if a team decides to double the Broncos’ No. 1 receiver, Patrick is almost certainly in single coverage. And then, Patrick runs fantastic routes, uses his size to box out defenders and he has great chemistry with Bridgewater, too.

While he’s in the middle of proving to the rest of the NFL just how great he is this year, Patrick still believes he has a lot to prove, as our Lindsay Bebout profiled him earlier in the season.

Currently, the Broncos are on their bye week following a devastating loss to the Eagles, dropping Denver’s overall record to 5-5 on the season. Patrick and the rest of the team will be using this week for rest ahead of back-to-back crucial divisional matchups against the Chargers and Chiefs in Weeks 12 and 13.

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