Patriots Season Preview By The Numbers: A Different Look At The 2016 Pats

The New England Patriots kick off their regular-season schedule this Sunday night. To help get you prepped for Week 1, here’s a numbers-centric look at the 2016 Patriots:

Zero: The number of Patriots season openers since 2002 that were started by any quarterback other than Tom Brady. That streak ends this year, as Brady is suspended for the first four games.

998: The number of days since quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s last start — for Eastern Illinois in the 2013 FCS quarterfinals. Garoppolo went 38 of 50 for 321 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for two more scores against Towson in that game, which was played under very Foxboro-esque conditions.

118: The number of touchdown passes Garoppolo threw at Eastern Illinois, breaking Tony Romo’s school record.

31: The number career pass attempts Garoppolo has in the NFL. He’s completed 20 and thrown for one touchdown.

Four: The number of wide receivers the Patriots currently have on their active roster: Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell. It remains unclear whether Amendola and/or Mitchell will be ready to play in Week 1, as both are recovering from injury.

Zero: The number of games Hogan missed in three seasons with the Buffalo Bills before signing with the Patriots earlier this year.

1,404: The number of rushing yards the Patriots gained last season, the NFL’s third-lowest total.

31: The number of first downs (rushing and receiving) running back Dion Lewis gained in just seven games last season. Only Rob Gronkowski (57), LeGarrette Blount (40), Edelman (40) and Amendola (32) had more.

Six: The number of games Lewis will miss, at least, after being placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. He also sat out the second half of last season after tearing his ACL.

1,176: The number of receiving yards Gronkowski finished with last season, the most among all NFL tight ends and the second-highest total of his career. Gronk was one of two Patriots players (along with kicker Stephen Gostkowski) to earn first-team All-Pro honors in 2015.

41: The number of offensive line combinations the Patriots used last season. No other team used more than 28. Unsurprisingly, continuity is a priority this season for O-line coach Dante Scarnecchia.

$600,000: Malcolm Butler’s salary cap hit this season, tied for the 133rd-highest among NFL cornerbacks. The Super Bowl XLIX hero and 2015 Pro Bowler is in line for a massive pay raise when he hits free agency in 2017.

99.1: The percent of regular-season games defensive end Rob Ninkovich has played in since joining the Patriots in 2009 (111 of a possible 112). He’ll miss the first four this season after testing positive for a banned substance.

114: The number of regular-season games defensive end Chris Long played during his eight years with the St. Louis Rams. He’s yet to reach the playoffs.

First: Where rookie cornerback Cyrus Jones ranked in Division I last season in all three punt return categories (returns, return yards and return touchdowns). The Alabama product displayed flashes of brilliance in the return game with two lengthy run-backs this preseason.

Three: The number of players the Patriots lost to waiver claims this past weekend: cornerbacks Darryl Roberts (New York Jets) and Cre’Von LeBlanc (Chicago Bears) and linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill (Philadelphia Eagles). Wide receiver Chris Harper also chose to join the San Francisco 49ers’ practice squad after New England released him.

13: The number of games New England’s Week 1 opponent, the Arizona Cardinals, won last season, setting a franchise record.

42: The length of the would-be game-winning field goal (in yardage) Gostkowski missed when the Patriots and Cardinals last met in 2012. Arizona would go on to win a mere five games that season, while New England finished with just four losses.

12.13: The Patriots’ average number of wins per regular season since 2001. No other team has averaged more than 10.6.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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