The Patriots have managed to collect the AFC’s current best record without much help from their offense.
After a hot start to the season, Tom Brady and Co. have offered little to write home about. New England has thrown for less than 270 yards in each of its last four games and only has eclipsed 100-plus rushing yards three times this season. Luckily for the Patriots, a stellar defense largely has masked these offensive shortcomings.
New England’s arsenal of weapons certainly isn’t the NFL’s worst, but it’s far from weak. Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, Phillip Dorsett and N’Keal Harry make for a respectable receiving corps, and the stable of running backs is nothing to scoff at. But Tony Dungy believes the Patriots fear they might not have enough talent on the offensive line.
“I think they’re worried about protecting him (Brady) in obvious passing situations,” Dungy said Sunday on NFC. “Now, I will say this: Bill Belichick is the best at adapting to his talent and figuring things out. They’ll come up with some different schemes, but it just doesn’t look pretty right now.”
Belichick and legendary O-line coach Dante Scarnecchia should inspire optimism that the pressure on Brady will subdue as the weeks go by. After allowing 21 sacks in the 2018 regular season, the Patriots only surrendered one over the span of three playoff games en route to a Super Bowl LIII title. There’s no denying the offensive-line play has been below average for the majority of the campaign, but there’s reason to believe it will improve, especially if 2018 first-rounder Isaiah Wynn is activated off of injured reserve and lives up to expectations.
New England will need to be at its best Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, who recorded 12 combined sacks over their last four games.
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