3. Failing to Improve the Offensive Line
The Patriots’ offensive line wasn’t anything special in 2022, leading to the fanbase pleading for more depth this offseason.
Although New England added a few O-line pieces, Riley Reiff was the only veteran addition. It was clear that management expected rookies Sidy Sow, Jake Andrews, and Atonio Mafi to provide suitable depth.
It didn’t take the Patriots long to learn how detrimental the lack of depth up front can be. Injuries have ravaged the unit, highlighted by Reiff landing on the IR following the preseason finale while Sow and left tackle Trent Brown have been dealing with concussions.
To understand the disastrous state that the offensive line is in, this is how the Patriots rank across the following categories:
- Pressures allowed: 27 (1st)
- QB hits allowed: 4 (T-8th)
- Sacks allowed: 6 (T-9th)
- Rushing yards per game: 82.0 (7th fewest)
While blame can be placed on the players for not stepping up, management needs to shoulder some of the blame. If your average fan could look at the O-line depth before the season and know it wasn’t good enough, why couldn’t Bill Belichick & Co. do the same?
The Patriots must act fast if they’re hoping to see a turnaround. There aren’t a ton of available free-agent options while the trade deadline quickly approaches on Oct. 31. If they take even more time to address the situation, things will only get worse as the campaign chugs on.
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