Through five weeks, the Patriots offense has been struggling. What exactly has been the reason why, and how can the team get the trend turned around?
Statistically, the 2019 New England Patriots defense is the best in NFL history dating back to 1986. For this Patriots team to win a championship it’s going to have to rely on its defense; good thing defense wins championships, right?
But what else have we learned about the Patriots through five weeks of the season?
The New England Patriots offense has been off to an unfamiliar start this year. With injuries hitting the offensive line rather hard and a lack of depth at the wide receiver position, the Patriots are still managing to find ways to win games, en route to an impressive 5-0 record to start the year.
At the moment, there is no running game for New England. James White has proved to be effective in the passing game at least, but with Sony Michel handling the work on the ground, the Pats have become very predictable on offense. Michel did see a career high in passing-routes last week against the Washington Redskins with 18, however.
The loss of Isaiah Wynn has left a hole at left tackle. The second-year lineman is on the IR dealing with “turf toe”. The Pats used a first-round pick on Wynn last season and have yet to be able to benefit from him. That said, in a small sample size this season, Wynn looked to protect Tom Brady rather well.
It’s becoming more apparent each week that the loss of usual starting center David Andrews is affecting the offense, especially in the run game. His loss should definitely not be undervalued; I think we all can see what Andrews brought to the table for the offensive line.
Julian Edelman seems to be the only weapon in Brady’s arsenal lately. With a lingering rib injury that he suffered during the Jets game earlier this season, Edelman should be taking more plays off than he is. Both Tom and Jules know that the offense can’t afford to lose Edelman right now, even with an undefeated season happening thus far.
Josh Gordon has certainly looked like a different player this season. He’s a lot slower getting into his routes, which forces Brady to buy more time. This isn’t what the Pats were expecting from Gordon this season. He is still the most physical and strongest-skilled position player the Pats have; his size is often compared to the physical characteristics of a tight end. Even though he is saying the right things off of the field, Gordon needs to prove it more while on the field.
Phillip Dorsett was diagnosed with a light hamstring strain after leaving early from Sunday’s game against the Redskins. Dorsett has carved a role for himself in this offense, and the team is going to miss having him on the field for some time.
Undrafted rookie Jakobi Meyers is still working on building a rapport with Brady. Working more and more in practice together will give Brady the confidence he needs in Meyers to go out and perform in a real game.
N’Keal Harry will be eligible to return from IR in a few weeks. The rookie looked impressive in the very small sample size we saw during the preseason. If Harry can get a good handle on the playbook while he’s returning from his injury, there’s a chance he can make a solid impact during the second half of the season.
There still seems like there’s a move to be made for the Patriots. Cutting Ben Watson made $2M in cap space available. Remember both the tight-end and wide receiver positions are lacking. It seems like the Pats are in the mood to make a deal, and to do so at this point would be through a trade before the deadline.
Brady has also expressed how he’d prefer some experienced and veteran guys on his offense, per NBC Sports Boston. It seems like Brady either doesn’t think the rookie receivers can pick up the offense, or he simply thinks experience is necessary to win in the NFL. Whatever the case may be, the New England Patriots are looking for their final piece to a championship puzzle.