Pro Football Focus came out with their offensive line rankings through week 5 on Tuesday and the Patriots ranked surprisingly high. Through these first 5 games, the Patriots have allowed Brady to be sacked 16 times, the 8th most times in the NFL, and allowed 33 QB hits, the most on Brady in over a decade. Despite that, Pro Football Focus ranked the Patriots as the 11th best offensive line in the NFL. The only reason they were ranked that high was because of their run blocking. The Patriots pass protection has been terrible, and PFF acknowledged as much in their rankings.
Going into their game against the Patriots last week, Tampa had one sack all season. Yet the Patriots allowed Brady to be sacked twice by Tampa’s embarrassing pass rush and take hit after hit all night, including this play:
Solder is being payed over 10 million dollars annually along with the top left tackles in the NFL. He is expected to play like one of the best players at his position in the league no matter who the competition is. The best O-lines don’t allow their quarterback to be hit 33 times in 5 games. Solder and Cannon are playing like 2 of the worst tackles in the NFL and maybe someone should tell Nate Solder that. You’re not expected to be perfect, Nate. You’re expected to be good.
Comments like that from Solder aren’t a good sign for the Patriots moving forward. If Solder is complaining about the offensive line being criticized for not being able to block the ghost of JJ Watt and 90 year old Julius Peppers, wait until they have to face Leonard Williams this week. The scary news for Patriots fans that want to see Tom Brady stay upright is that it only gets worse from there.
Melvin Ingram, Joey Bosa, Von Miller, and Khalil Mack who are all still left on the schedule. The Patriots have been going up against the easy part of their schedule in regards to elite pass rushers and their poor tackle play has already gotten Brady injured. Brady had an MRI this week on his left shoulder and 98.5’s James Stewart speculated today that he may have a right hand injury the team is trying to hide as well. Brady missed most of practice this week and is listed as questionable for Sunday. No matter what’s wrong with Brady, the problem is he’s already hurt and the Patriots haven’t even played the best pass rushers on their schedule yet. Brady is taking too many hits. This is his age 40 season. As he gets into his later years, he needs good blocking more than ever. At this age, take one bad hit and it can all be over.
If Marcus Cannon can’t block Adarius Glanton he has no shot against Von Miller. The Patriots might want to call up the Browns and try to pry Joe Thomas away. They still have arguably the three most talented pass rushers in the entire NFL left on their schedule and if Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon continue to play like this, they have no shot to hold their own against the players left on the schedule. The Patriots have to figure out their offensive line problems and fast. If they don’t, Brady might not make it through the season.
Photo: (Boston Herald)