The Patriots suffered a very disappointing loss to the Saints on Sunday by a final score of 28-13. That loss drops them to a record of 1-2 and they currently sit in 3rd place in the AFC East. The offense looked very stagnant, and a lot of that was predicated by poor offensive line play and the absence of Trent Brown. Trent Brown is the Patriots starting right tackle, and one of the premier linemen in all of football. The O-line was not the only group that had an underwhelming performance, but they did highlight the team’s struggles. The Patriots may have reinforcements on the way for their week 4 game when they host Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccanneers.
Trent Brown has been day-to-day since he suffered a calf injury in the Patriots’ home opener against the Miami Dolphins in week 1. It even looked like there was a good chance that he could have played against the Saints, but in the end, he was sidelined for the 2nd straight week. The Patriots have been experimenting with different pieces to fill in at right tackle in Brown’s absence. The two guys who have gotten the most time in that spot are Yasir Durant and Justin Herron. Both have proved to be significant drop-offs compared to Trent Brown. The Patriots allowed three sacks against the Saints. Mac Jones was under constant pressure and was hit a total of 11 times.
Despite the ugly showing, the Patriots do have serious talent up on the offensive line. Left guard, Michael Onwenu is currently the 3rd highest-rated offensive lineman through three weeks of the season according to ProFootballFocus.
Center, David Andrews, and right guard, Shaq Mason have both been a part of multiple Super Bowl wins with the Patriots. Left tackle, Isaiah Wynn is a former first-round pick who has been dominant when healthy. That front five has the talent to be one of the elite offensive line units in all of football. The key is consistency. They need to stay healthy and get the reps in together so they can build more chemistry.
This week could be a huge opportunity for the Patriots’ O-line. The Buccanneers currently rank dead last in pass rush this year, only recording three sacks through three games. If they can get it together, Mac Jones can have a big game against a dinged-up Tampa Bay secondary. They have two defensive backs on the injured reserve list and cornerback, Jamel Dean is questionable for Sunday’s game with a knee injury. When you think about this matchup, you think about the tear Brady has been on this year. However, it may be closer than what meets the eye.
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