AFC Notes: Chargers, Jets, Patriots


  • The Athletic’s Daniel Popper says it’s his educated guess that GM Tom Telesco is safe enough in his job security to remain in 2021. 
  • However, Chargers HC Anthony Lynn is absolutely on the hot seat unless he can lead the team to two or more wins in the final four games. 
  • Popper expects the Chargers to turn to Easton Stick as the primary backup and allow Tyrod Taylor a chance to find a shot as a fill-in starter with another team. 
  • It’s still early, but Popper thinks the Chargers could have some opportunities to trade down from No. 4 overall for teams chasing a quarterback in the coming draft. 
  • Popper doesn’t anticipate the Chargers cutting G Trai Turner and believes he’ll be better with a full offseason to get back to 100 percent health. 


  • SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano writes that Jets HC Adam Gase‘s decision to fire DC Gregg Williams was not just about Williams’ end-of-game call Sunday against the Raiders, but also because of the tension between the two that had built up this season. 
  • Williams’ defense hadn’t been playing well this year and there was some tension when he blamed the offense for some of their defensive struggles in a press conference. 
  • Vacchiano says Gase was hired primarily to oversee the offense and QB Sam Darnold‘s development and he gave Williams almost total autonomy over the defense. That meant the Jets essentially had a head coach of the offense and a head coach of the defense. That dynamic is partially why Gase didn’t react quickly enough to call a timeout and overrule Williams’ zero-blitz call. 


Patriots’ HC Bill Belichick has praised the team’s run defense following the return of DT Adam Butler to the lineup. 

“Yeah, the last two weeks have been really good,” Belichick said, via Doug Kyed of NESN. “(Butler has) done a good job and been very disruptive out there and that’s helped the guys around him — Chase, Josh, D. Wise. So, he’s got the ability to be disruptive in the pocket and certainly showed up the last couple of weeks. So, hopefully, he can continue to get those plays, and a lot of times, sometimes he makes the play, and then sometimes it’s not him making the play, but he causes problems in the protection and that helps other guys out. So, he’s done a nice job for us the last couple of weeks.”

  • Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston says that the Patriots are still in a great position financially when it comes to a possible cap shrinkage next season, but have several impending free agents looking to get paid, including Butler, DT Lawrence Guy, CB Jason McCourty, C David Andrews, G Joe Thuney, RB James White and DE John Simon.
  • Curran wonders just how many of these names will end up returning to the Patriots next season when the team has the money to land a free agent such as Chargers’ TE Hunter Henry.
  • In a radio interview with WEEI, Patriots QB Cam Newton acknowledged back-to-back passing outputs of less than 100 yards passing aren’t pretty in the modern NFL, but he doesn’t care as long as New England is winning: “It’s not the sexiest thing to see a quarterback throw for 69 yards.” (Ryan Hannable)

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