New England Patriots: A journey through the first 8 games of the season

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 29: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots talks with Tom Brady
FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 29: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots talks with Tom Brady /
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Protecting the Old Man

Speaking of that 40-year old wunderkind quarterback, it is crucial that the Patriots protect him from taking a beating by opposing rushers. Through half of the season, Brady has been sacked 21 times.  That’s six more than the offensive line allowed all of last regular season.

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The offensive line needs to play better in the future because the team needs TB12 under center if it wants any success in the rest of the regular season and beyond. Marcus Cannon needs to stay healthy and put up the same performance as last year that earned him All-Pro Honors and a contract extension.

The other tackle manning Brady’s blind side, left tackle Nate Solder, hasn’t had a great first half of the year. He had a rough week one as he allowed 3 sacks against the Kansas City Chiefs. Solder has proven that he has great value in the running game and shown flashes of great skill in pass protection, but he needs a strong second half of the season.

The main issue with the Offensive Line has been matching up in pass protection, as the outside linebackers and 3-4 defensive ends have found their way against Patriots linemen. Many say games are won in the trenches, and the Patriots need their offensive linemen to step up and protect their quarterback.