FOXBORO, Mass. — After each game, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady seems to make it a point to thank his offensive line on social media.
Brady has made it a weekly tradition to tag his blockers in his Instagram stories, thanking them for keeping him upright as the Patriots have started the season with a 4-0 record. The O-line has done a pretty good job of keeping Brady on his feet so far this season. The QB has been sacked just four times, which is good for fourth-best in the NFL.
With left tackle Isaiah Wynn (toe) currently on injured reserve and center David Andrews (illness) out for the season, the offensive line is publically viewed as a weakness on the team, however. Marshall Newhouse is filling in for Wynn at left tackle, while Ted Karras is playing center with Andrews out.
Brady is still confident in that unit, however.
“They?re doing a good job,” Brady said. “I think they?re doing a good job, so yeah, absolutely. I think they?re well-coached. A lot of guys I have played with for quite a while — Marcus (Cannon) and Shaq (Mason) and Joe (Thuney) for a while. I think Marshall?s been in there for a while. He?s relatively new. Ted?s been here for a while. So, there?s a lot of familiarity with the guys. I think all of those guys playing together, I think they?re working hard and trying to make improvements.”
While Brady has been sacked just four times, he did seem under siege Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, forcing him to throw away six passes.
Throughout the season, however, Brady has only faced pressure on 27 percent of dropbacks, per Pro Football Focus. That’s the seventh-lowest figure of 35 qualified QBs. It helps, of course, that Brady gets rid of the ball, on average, in 2.32 seconds. That’s the second-quickest release rate of 35 qualified QBs. The Patriots’ offensive line ranks seventh in Pro Football Focus’ pass-blocking efficiency metric.
On the ground, the Patriots are 24th in the NFL with 91.2 rushing yards per game. They’re 28th with 3.2 yards per carry.
It’s worth noting starting running back Sony Michel ranks last among 43 qualified running backs in elusive rating with 1.9 yards after contact per carry and three total forced missed tackles on 62 touches. Rex Burkhead ranks 37th with 3.17 yard after contact per carry and four forced missed tackles on 38 touches.
So, while the Patriots’ offensive line might not be opening up gaping holes, running backs also aren’t doing a great job of creating their own yards.
The Patriots’ offensive line should improve as the season goes along and the unit jells. Newhouse came to the Patriots prior to Week 2. The Patriots also should be getting Wynn off of injured reserve at midseason.
For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, go to ProFootballFocus.com.