During Sunday nights 30-23 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriot's undrafted rookie receiver Kenbrell Thompkins had his best game as a professional catching a TD pass in the forth quarter to help build a lead Atlanta could not comeback from.  The touchdown was Thompkins' third of the season as he follows up a solid 2 TD game last week against the Bucs, with his most dependable performance thus far.

Early on in the broadcast Chris Collinsworth was comparing Kenbrell Thompkins to Chad Johnson. Although Chris should have used a better comparison for a Patriots receiver, his premise was not far off. Kenbrell has a similar stride to "Ocho" and uses that and his quickness to create separation off the line of scrimmage.  That separation and route-running (something Chad couldn't grasp) led Thompkins to haul in 6 catches on 11 targets for a team leading 127 yards.  49 of which came on a spectacular catch over and off a Falcons defender in the 2nd quarter.  That catch seemed to ignite Kenbrell's confidence which led to the superb performance.

While a drop here and there by Thompkins did not end up costing the Patriots much, it will however be enough of a talking point for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick to continue to push the talented rookie to improve. Steady progress has been recipe for all the rookie receivers.  Josh Boyce even got in the action on Sunday night after Aaron Dobson went down.  If Kenbrell Thompkins can continue to set the pace for the other young receivers, that unit may end up being a strength rather than a weakness by seasons end.

Another tough challenge awaits Kenbrell and his fellow receivers next week as the Bengals defense may be the best the Pats have faced this season.  Coming off a bad loss to Cleveland, the Bengals will be looking to make a statement against the Pats, as most teams do.  Though these rookie receivers can also continue to make their marks against a stout Cincinnati defense.

Frank Cypriano

Frank Cypriano 9/30/2013 12:31:00 AM Edit

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