Offended by New England Patriots offensive line

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Offended by New England Patriots offensive line

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By Ian Kea

The key to winning a Super Bowl: keep Tom Brady off his back.

It is plain and simple, yet the Patriots offensive line can’t do it.

Brady is already the sixth most sacked quarterback in the league, according to ESPN.

The quarterback has been sacked seven times over three games and has had a completion percentage of only 58.8 percent ,which is hardly “Brady-like.”

We wonder why Brady does not want to throw to anyone except the likes of Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski; now we have a good guess why.

When you can barely get off your first read because of pressure, you are going to go to the experienced players and leave your skill position players out of the picture, which can devastate a diverse offense like the Patriots as well as ruin chemistry with newer players.

With a weak offensive line, opponents’ defenses can easily scout, study and make coverages aligned to Edelman and Gronkowski. Knowing that Brady will only throw to certain people makes it easier for defenses, as we saw when the Patriots barely escaped the Oakland Raiders at Gillette 16-9 in Week 3.

With only 2.37 seconds on average for Brady to throw, the Patriots rank second to last in the league according to ProFootballFocus.com.

The Patriots offensive line last year was much more consistent, especially with left guard Logan Mankins, who was a solid six-time Pro Bowl selection for the last nine years. Last month he was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for an unproven tight end product along with a measly fourth-round draft pick, which is a small price to pay for a first round pro bowl guard.

Usually, head coach Bill Belichick knows when to send players packing as we saw with former players Lawyer Milloy and Randy Moss, but what Belichick didn’t account for was the coaching change.

After 30 years of quality consistency, offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia retired. The Patriots staff brought in Dave DeGuglielmo, a Massachusetts native.

With the same scheme for 30 years, there is bound to be some flaws in the new system especially for DeGuglielmo who has a variety of offensive line from first round picks to undrafted free agents. This new system will take time but it is the coaching staff who made the error of presuming all would be well without making proper adjustments.

In order to actually compete against real opponents such as the AFC Champion Denver Broncos, the Patriots need to step it up and soon.

With the Patriots going up against a top 10 defense on Monday night, the squad has an opportunity to hush the critics and be known once again as the one of the elite NFL teams.

With Brady being rushed on 36.9 percent of snaps, which is ranked eleventh worst in the NFL, it is “do or die” for the Patriots.

Even Brady is open with the media about the Pats protection woes.

“Typically, the longer you have to throw, the better decision you’ll be able to make,” Brady said in  a press conference.

The Patriots have a talented and very polished defense, but currently, no offense to compliment, which stalls the progression.

The defense can’t be the only answer. It’s time for the offensive line to step up and not jeopardize a potential Super Bowl run.

It all starts up front and Brady needs to be upright for more than 2.37 seconds, so without a stable line, there is no Brady, and with no Brady, the Patriots have little chance to make it to the big show once again.

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