Morning Sports Update

Christian Gonzalez is already being compared to an All-Pro cornerback

"That smooth, that polished, that good."

New England Patriots cornerback Christian Gonzalez (6) prepares to tackle Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass.
Christian Gonzalez more than held his own against Tyreek Hill on Sunday. Greg M. Cooper / AP Photo

Christian Gonzalez is already earning a strong reputation: The Patriots were thrilled when cornerback Christian Gonzalez — touted as a top-five talent — fell to New England at the 17th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Three games into his NFL career, the rest of the league is increasingly taking notice of his talent.

Gonzalez faced as tough a start to his career as any other cornerback in the league through three weeks. He matched up against DeVonta Smith and the Eagles in Week 1, Tyreek Hill and the Dolphins in Week 2, and Garrett Wilson and the Jets in Week 3. He excelled in each game, earning praise from players like Hill, who simply noted Gonzalez is “real good.”


On top of being named the Defensive Rookie of the Month, Gonzalez is already seen as a potential difference-maker in the looming matchup with the Cowboys on Sunday at 4:25 p.m.

Speaking about top Dallas wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, ESPN analyst Ryan Clark predicted that Gonzalez would provide blanket coverage.

“Christian Gonzalez will be lined up wherever he is the entire day,” Clark said of Lamb.

After showing several examples of Gonzalez’s success in the early weeks, Clark had one conclusion.

“This is a dude that can absolutely ball,” he explained. “And he’s able to do it in different dimensions, whether it’s press coverage, off-coverage, even in zone. You’re going to see him locked up with CeeDee Lamb in many of these cases, sometimes with help, sometimes without. So, the Dallas Cowboys are going to have to find a way to do something different than what they’ve normally done with CeeDee throughout the first three weeks.”

He also compared Gonzalez to another elite NFL cornerback.

“If I had to compare him to anybody, I’d compare him to [Patrick] Surtain II,” said Clark, “who we know right now is a top-five cornerback in this league, and maybe number one last year. That smooth, that polished, that good.”

Trivia: Can you name the two cornerbacks who share the Patriots’ all-time regular season interceptions record?


(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: One led the NFL in interceptions twice (1998, 2005), while the other was a first-round pick in 1977.

Scores and schedule:

The Red Sox lost to the Orioles 2-0 on Thursday as Baltimore clinched the American League East crown. The two teams play against tonight (7:05 p.m. at Camden Yards).

Also tonight, the Connecticut Sun host the New York Liberty in Game 3 of the WNBA Semifinal at 7:30 p.m. The series is tied 1-1.

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Trivia answer: Ty Law, Raymond Clayborn


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