FOXBORO, Mass. — It’s not shocking to see the New England Patriots’ offensive line struggle after captain Logan Mankins and coach Dante Scarnecchia departed before the 2014 season, but it is surprising to see Tom Brady heavily pressured from his blind side.
That’s where franchise left tackle Nate Solder is supposed to be holding down the fort, but the starting left tackle has allowed two sacks and 10 total pressures this season. The fourth-year pro got steamrolled by Oakland Raiders rookie linebacker Khalil Mack on Sunday.
“I’d like to shore up my pass protection,” Solder said about his goals heading into Monday night’s matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. “I’d like to work better with the offensive line and do some of those things better that I haven’t been doing well.”
Solder will be tested this week as the Patriots prepare for Pro Bowl pass rushers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali. Their pressure, coupled with the crowd noise at Arrowhead Stadium, could make for another long night at the office for Brady.
Solder and his offensive line are freely acknowledging that they’re not playing up to snuff, and they’re looking to improve before Monday.
“I think the problem is that we aren’t playing the way we want to play, and we’re going to continue to work on that,” Solder said Wednesday in the Patriots locker room.