As unbelievable as this might sound, the New England Patriots are already midway through their 2018 season.
No, really. Check the numbers. After a slow 1-2 start, the Patriots are predictably 6-2 and on pace for their sixth 12-4 season in the last 12 years.
Let’s go through some player projections to see what kind of numbers the Patriots are estimated to put up by the end of the season.
QB Tom Brady
398-of-590, 67.5 percent, 4,400 yards, 32 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, 97.6 passer rating
Brady is on pace to tie his career mark in interceptions. He also threw 14 interceptions in 2002, 2004 and 2005. We find it unlikely he’ll actually hit that mark, however. Three of Brady’s seven interceptions have slipped through the hands of Patriots receivers. We don’t see Brady continuing to be that unlucky.
Brady would tie his touchdown mark from last season. While 4,400 yards might not seem like a ton, it would be the sixth most of his career. Brady would have his lowest passer rating since 2014. His completion percentage would be the second highest of his career, however.
RB James White
110 receptions, 918 receiving yards, 12 receiving touchdowns, 96 carries, 408 rushing yards, four rushing touchdowns
White is on pace to shatter the single-season receptions record by a running back. That mark currently is set by former Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte, who caught 102 passes in 2014. We think he could do it.
White has never put up more than 717 yards from scrimmage in a single season. He already has 663 yards from scrimmage. He’s already set a career high with 48 carries for 204 rushing yards.
RB Sony Michel
190 carries, 844 rushing yards, eight touchdowns, eight receptions, 62 receiving yards
This is assuming Michel misses two more games over the course of the second half of the season, which seems like a pretty safe bet. With a strong second half, however, Michel could finish with 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns, which would be impressive for a rookie.
WR Julian Edelman
75 receptions, 753 yards, six touchdowns, nine carries, 60 rushing yards
We extrapolated Edelman’s last four games over a 12-game season. He would have been on pace for a 100-catch, 1,000-yard, eight-touchdown season if he wasn’t suspended four games to start the season. Edelman came back from a torn ACL and suspension the same player he was in 2016.
WR Josh Gordon
42 receptions, 660 yards, five touchdowns
This includes Gordon’s one game with the Cleveland Browns. We extrapolated his six games played over a 14-game season.
It wouldn’t be shocking if Gordon took a leap in the second half of the season and put up even better numbers.
WR Chris Hogan
46 receptions, 666 yards, four touchdowns
Hogan is on pace for a career-high in receptions. He got off to a slow start but has been impressive over the last three games, when he’s put up 12 catches for 190 yards.
WR/RB Cordarrelle Patterson
22 receptions, 228 receiving yards, four touchdowns, 34 carries, 148 yards
It will be interesting to see how these numbers actually look at the end of the year. Patterson had 10 carries in Week 8 when he was the Patriots’ starting running back and top ball carrier. So, he could wind up with more than 34 carries if Michel doesn’t come back in Week 9 and if the Patriots don’t add another ball-carrier.
TE Rob Gronkowski
58 receptions, 896 yards, two touchdowns
This is assuming Gronkowski plays 14 games this season. Gronkowski has never finished a season with fewer than three touchdowns. He would have his fewest catches and yards over at least a 14-game span since his rookie season.
Gronkowski has to step it up if he hopes to hit those contract incentives.
DE Trey Flowers
Four sacks, six stuffs
Flowers is the Patriots’ best front-seven defender, but he’s not piling up sacks. His six run stuffs would be the highest total of his career, however.
CB Stephon Gilmore
Two interceptions, 22 passes defended
Gilmore has never finished a season with more than 18 passes defended. He had two more in Week 8 and has shown off elite ball skills this season.