Mohamed Sanu was an afterthought in the New England Patriots’ offense again Sunday. Tom Brady wants to change that.
The Patriots quarterback expressed a desire to get Sanu more involved in the passing game after the veteran receiver caught just one pass on one target for 13 yards in the team’s 26-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium.
“We were trying to get him the ball at different times, and sometimes the coverage dictated it go somewhere else,” Brady said Monday on WEEI’s “Greg Hill Show.” “But he’s doing a great job. He’s a really tough, hard-nosed guy that wants the ball. He’s competitive, and I have to do a better job finding him and getting him the ball, because he can do good things with it.”
Sanu caught 10 passes on 14 targets for 81 yards and a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens in his second game with New England. Since then, the 30-year-old has just six receptions on 10 targets for 31 yards and no scores in three games. He also missed the Patriots’ Week 12 win over the Dallas Cowboys with an ankle injury and played just 22 percent of the team’s offensive snaps the following week in a loss to the Houston Texans — his lowest snap rate since his rookie season.
The injury continued to limit Sanu in practice last week. He played 58 percent of offensive snaps (39 of 67) against the Chiefs. Brady threw his way once on New England’s opening drive — resulting in a defensive pass interference penalty — and again later in the first quarter, but Sanu’s only involvement over the final three frames came on punt returns.
“I just love the way he has come in with his attitude, and he’s been a very hard-working guy,” Brady said of Sanu on WEEI. “I am going to keep finding ways to get him the ball, because you have to get the ball to guys who can make plays, and he’s one of them.”
With receivers Sanu, Phillip Dorsett (two targets, no catches), Jakobi Meyers (one catch on a halfback pass; two drops) and N’Keal Harry (two offensive snaps) all quiet Sunday, Brady again relied heavily on top wideout Julian Edelman. Edelman caught a game-high eight passes on 12 targets, accounting for 95 of Brady’s 169 yards and the QB’s lone touchdown pass in the loss.
Since New England’s Week 10 bye, Edelman has more catches and receiving yards than the rest of the Patriots’ receiving corps combined.
Since the Patriots' bye
Julian Edelman: 27 catches, 45 targets, 347 yards
All other WRs: 25 catches, 54 targets, 281 yards
— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) December 9, 2019
Thumbnail photo via Douglas DeFelice/USA TODAY Sports Images