Looking at the Patriots - 2021

chevss454

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PFF ranks the Pats' OL as the 3rd best in the NFL. (Browns, Colts)


3. New England Patriots

The Patriots are known for trotting out top offensive lines year after year. Last season was no different, and 2021 should be a similar story.

Left tackle Isaiah Wynn took a step forward in his second season, grading out at 82.6 overall, good for 11th among tackles. He had the fifth-lowest percentage of negatively graded plays in the run game, a stable number for tackles from year to year, so expect more of the same.

The Patriots rotated through several players at right tackle last season, with rookie sixth-rounder Michael Onwenu taking the majority of the snaps. He was one of the biggest surprises in the league, as he was excellent whether playing right guard or right tackle, and his 84.3 overall grade was by far the best of any rookie offensive lineman.

New England traded for Trent Brown, which will likely push Onwenu to left guard to replace Joe Thuney. Brown returns to New England after two years with the Raiders, where he graded out at 69.1 in 2019 and 68.9 last year on 282 snaps. Brown spent one year in New England in 2018, earning a career-high 73.4 overall grade.

The right guard spot is manned by Shaq Mason, one of the most powerful run blockers in the NFL. He has recorded 80.0-plus grades in the run game in four of his five seasons, though last year saw him post a career-low 60.5 mark in pass protection.

At center, David Andrews returns after notching a 67.7 overall grade last season, tied for 16th among centers. It was Andrews’ lowest grade since his rookie year in 2015, so expect him to bounce back toward the top half of the league.

New England has solid depth, as well, starting with the return of Ted Karras, who can play center or guard. Justin Herron also showed some ability as a sixth-round rookie, and Onwenu’s versatility is almost worth an extra roster spot.

The Patriots have solid starters all over the line, possibly forming the best offensive line in the league by the end of the season.
 

Inspector_50

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PFF ranks the Pats' OL as the 3rd best in the NFL. (Browns, Colts)


3. New England Patriots

The Patriots are known for trotting out top offensive lines year after year. Last season was no different, and 2021 should be a similar story.

Left tackle Isaiah Wynn took a step forward in his second season, grading out at 82.6 overall, good for 11th among tackles. He had the fifth-lowest percentage of negatively graded plays in the run game, a stable number for tackles from year to year, so expect more of the same.

The Patriots rotated through several players at right tackle last season, with rookie sixth-rounder Michael Onwenu taking the majority of the snaps. He was one of the biggest surprises in the league, as he was excellent whether playing right guard or right tackle, and his 84.3 overall grade was by far the best of any rookie offensive lineman.

New England traded for Trent Brown, which will likely push Onwenu to left guard to replace Joe Thuney. Brown returns to New England after two years with the Raiders, where he graded out at 69.1 in 2019 and 68.9 last year on 282 snaps. Brown spent one year in New England in 2018, earning a career-high 73.4 overall grade.

The right guard spot is manned by Shaq Mason, one of the most powerful run blockers in the NFL. He has recorded 80.0-plus grades in the run game in four of his five seasons, though last year saw him post a career-low 60.5 mark in pass protection.

At center, David Andrews returns after notching a 67.7 overall grade last season, tied for 16th among centers. It was Andrews’ lowest grade since his rookie year in 2015, so expect him to bounce back toward the top half of the league.

New England has solid depth, as well, starting with the return of Ted Karras, who can play center or guard. Justin Herron also showed some ability as a sixth-round rookie, and Onwenu’s versatility is almost worth an extra roster spot.

The Patriots have solid starters all over the line, possibly forming the best offensive line in the league by the end of the season.
This is true, they have a great oline, and they will need it. Cam holds the ball too long and rookies tend to as well. Its going to be a big help to get the offense going.
 

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Hawg73

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I'm sure that the drop top works flawlessly. Kraft finally gets a Bentley that can properly cover.

I see what you did there. :toast:

I couldn't find any full pics of the car, but it appears to be just like this one with a brighter blue custom paint.

Let's hope the other drivers don't keep passing because it's too slow.






RKKcar.jpg
 

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chevss454

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where do you fall in this debate?


I side with Callahan and anticipate another wr addition after cutdowns.

Couldn't read the article bc of the paywall...so I don't know what was said.

A depth signing would be normal but a headlining WR1? No. BB had that chance with Julio; he isn't interested for this year.
 

aloyouis

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Couldn't read the article bc of the paywall...so I don't know what was said.

A depth signing would be normal but a headlining WR1? No. BB had that chance with Julio; he isn't interested for this year.

Patriots point-counterpoint: Do the Pats have enough at wide receiver to contend?​

By Andrew Callahan | acallahan@bostonherald.com and Karen Guregian | karen.guregian@bostonherald.com |
June 8, 2021 at 3:33 p.m.
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates with wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (16) after a successful two-point conversion against the Buffalo Bills during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates with wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (16) after a successful two-point conversion against the Buffalo Bills during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
The Julio Jones sweepstakes are over.

The Patriots lost.

Or, at least according to reports, took themselves out of the running.

For better or worse, the Pats are left with Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne and one of the league’s worst receiving corps from last season. On one hand, Agholor and Bourne are ascending players who played the best football of their careers last season. Jakobi Meyers, entering his third year after a position change in college, has gained some national attention as a potential breakout player.

This offense will also lean heavily on their new tight ends, Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, as pass catchers.

Then again, one injury to Bourne or Agholor will effectively reduce this group back to the 2020 version. Cam Newton and Mac Jones can’t be expected to elevate below-average receivers against above-average defenses, as Tom Brady once did. The Patriots’ weakest position group remains somewhat shallow.

So do the Pats have enough at wide receiver to contend? The Herald’s Patriots beat writers debate.

Callahan: Yes. The key here is context. The Patriots remade themselves into a run-first team powered by a top-5 offensive line and the NFL’s best tight end duo. They’ll likely field just two wideouts on most offensive snaps, so they’re not asking much of this group. Between Agholor, Bourne and Meyers, they have three starting-caliber wideouts, all of whom boast higher upside. The Pats’ No. 1 receivers are actually tight ends: Henry and Smith. If they don’t contend, it won’t be because of Plan C. It’s because this gamble of playing contrarian, bully-ball offense in the pass-first modern era failed.

Guregian: The point here is to have a Plan B if opposing defenses are able to stop bully-ball. And this season, the Pats will be going up against some excellent defenses, and top run defenses in particular (Buccaneers, Browns, Saints, Jets). So they’ll need to find another way to move the football and put points on the board. That was the whole point of acquiring a game-breaker like Julio Jones — he would open up so many more lanes for the receivers and tight ends. He would make it tougher for the better defenses in the league, specifically those defenses with contending teams, to completely shut down the Pats if they stymied bully ball, and plugged the middle of the field.

Callahan: Except if you load up with linebackers, that’s where Henry and Smith create mismatches. And if you defend one with a safety, that leaves the deep part of the field open for Agholor, who ranked first in the league in receiving yards and second in touchdowns on vertical routes last season, per Next Gen Stats. The base of this offense will be two-tight end personnel, which can facilitate a strong run game and punish teams who load the box with receiving mismatches. That’s why the Pats will contend. How Henry and Smith, the O-line and Newton perform will determine how the season goes, not two solid wideouts.

Guregian: In theory, that’s all true. But you’re forgetting that the Patriots game-plan week to week based on the opponent. Some weeks, running the football won’t make sense. Some weeks, the Patriots will have more of a pass-first strategy to try and take advantage of inferior secondaries. And while the two tight ends will be utilized, there are games where it’ll come down to how well the Patriots incorporate the receivers. Now, I like the additions of Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. But to beat the teams the Patriots are going to have to beat to be considered actual contenders, they still need a bonafide No. 1 wideout and game-breaker. Are you going to match scores with the Chiefs, Bills, and now the Titans with a mediocre receiving corps? No doubt the Patriots will win their share of games, but a Jones-like receiver would make them more competitive against the better teams.

Callahan: Except when was that true during the Brady era, needing a “No. 1 wideout” to win? The Randy Moss years? That’s it. Julian Edelman never fit that description, as productive and reliable as he was. In most of those seasons, their No. 1 receiver was a tight end — Gronk! That’s the formula again here, with Henry and Smith. Not to mention, no Chiefs, Bills or Titans cornerback, aside from Tre’Davious White, scares anyone. Tennessee had the 30th-ranked pass defense last year, and Kansas City and Buffalo were average. The Pats’ passing game relies on all pass-catchers, not just wideouts, and in their totality, these weapons — plus the run game — are enough.

Guregian: Do you see anyone on the roster named Brady? Do you see a quarterback on the roster who is capable of doing more with less, as Brady did for many years? That was the beauty of having the greatest quarterback of all time under center. But in 2021, whether it’s Newton, Jones, Jarrett Stidham or Brian Hoyer, none of the quarterbacks the Patriots have can raise the level of the people around them. Perhaps the Newton of 2015 could, but the Patriots don’t have that Newton. At least, not based on the Newton we saw last season. So the more elite weapons the Pats can surround any of these guys with, the better they’re going to be. And specific to receiver, having at least one game-breaker would make them so much tougher to defend.

Callahan: The question isn’t whether adding a top-flight receiver would make them better. That’s obvious, and holds true for literally all 32 teams. It’s whether the Patriots have enough at receiver to contend. And when surrounded by a top-5 offensive line, potentially a top-5 running game and top-10 defense, and the league’s best tight end duo, the answer is yes. The Patriots have always attacked the middle of the field first, and that’s why they rebuilt the way they did, without splurging on a “No. 1 receiver.” What happens outside will be a bonus, and what you have out there are three starting-caliber receivers, who are all ascending. This is the best receiving corps and arguably second-most talented roster the Pats have had to start a season since 2017. That’s good enough.

Guregian: Good enough to improve, and good enough to contend are two different animals. Yes, they’re better at receiver, and better overall, but are they contender-good? Well, let’s look at the team that won the most recent Super Bowl, the Bucs. How do the Patriots receivers compare with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown? Answer: They don’t. The championship Bucs have elite receivers, top-notch tight ends, an excellent running back tandem and a good offensive line. The Pats match them everywhere, with the exception of receiver and quarterback. It’s the same scenario with the Chiefs, the AFC’s best team, who also boast elite receivers. It remains to be seen if the Pats version is good enough to contend.
 

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Couldn't read the article bc of the paywall...so I don't know what was said.

A depth signing would be normal but a headlining WR1? No. BB had that chance with Julio; he isn't interested for this year.

I wouldn't be so sure. Maybe Alshon Jeffrey.

I'd also mention that guy we all know from down in the desert, but I think he's been rumored to come here about 12 times and it hasn't happened yet. I've
heard he's considering retirement and I suppose it's possible he'd consider a swan song here for a chance to revive his career.

I still see a need for an X to balance out the attack and both of those guys come with injury histories and are well into their back nines, but there is
a long history (i.e., Chad, Sanu ) of Bill signing guys like them if the money was reasonable. Just because it hasn't worked out doesn't mean it couldn't
with the right fit.

I expect us to play a lot of 2 TE sets, but even if we went nuts the most teams usually use it is a little more than 50%. . Last year we were
at around 3% and the most we ever did was Gronk and APerp in 2011 at 70%. That means we arguably could still use a capable X and
the other incumbents would fall more naturally into roles where they could be productive.

I expect Bill to kick some tires, at least, but maybe you're right.
 

aloyouis

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I wouldn't be so sure. Maybe Alshon Jeffrey.

I'd also mention that guy we all know from down in the desert, but I think he's been rumored to come here about 12 times and it hasn't happened yet. I've
heard he's considering retirement and I suppose it's possible he'd consider a swan song here for a chance to revive his career.

I still see a need for an X to balance out the attack and both of those guys come with injury histories and are well into their back nines, but there is
a long history (i.e., Chad, Sanu ) of Bill signing guys like them if the money was reasonable. Just because it hasn't worked out doesn't mean it couldn't
with the right fit.

I expect us to play a lot of 2 TE sets, but even if we went nuts the most teams usually use it is a little more than 50%. . Last year we were
at around 3% and the most we ever did was Gronk and APerp in 2011 at 70%. That means we arguably could still use a capable X and
the other incumbents would fall more naturally into roles where they could be productive.

I expect Bill to kick some tires, at least, but maybe you're right.
Baring injury, I expect to see that number or more this season.
 
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