New England Patriots: Offensive Line Under The Spotlight Versus Minnesota Vikings


If you had to pin the New England Patriots’ week one loss on one specific group (even though the whole team played pretty bad), it would be the offensive line. They allowed Tom Brady to be sacked four times in the second half alone, and when he wasn’t getting sacked, he was being pressured, and hit, which completely destroyed the rhythm of the offense.

The Vikings are a quality football team, and they are coming off an impressive drubbing of the Rams in week one. Their defense held St. Louis to 318 total yards, six points, forced two turnovers, and racked up five sacks. Now granted, the 2014 Rams aren’t exactly the 1999 Rams, but those numbers are impressive regardless.

I touched on this yesterday, but there are a ton of favorable matchups for the Patriots on offense. Minnesota doesn’t have a very good secondary, and Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, and the rest of New England’s offense could potentially have a huge day. However, in order to attack the Vikings through the air, the Pats need their offensive line to step up, and give Brady time in the pocket.

Based off of what we saw last week, there is absolutely nothing that shows this unit will play better against Minnesota. But I have a feeling that Bill Belichick is going to whip his line into shape, and more importantly, establish a much more stable starting unit.

Last week against Miami, the Patriots used a rotation for most of the game, constantly moving Ryan Wendell, and Jordan Devey in and out of the game. After the horrid result, I doubt we will see New England do much of that anymore. From what I saw, the Pats’ best line combination was Nate Solder at left tackle, Marcus Cannon at left guard, Ryan Wendell at center, Dan Connolly at right guard, and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.

Ideally, I would want rookie Ryan Stork starting instead of Wendell, because Wendell really gets dominated far too often at the point of attack, but I don’t think Stork is quite ready to be inserted into the starting lineup.

The Vikings’ are a tough defense, led by Mike Zimmer, one of the best defensive minds in the game. The Patriots are under a lot of pressure to show the rest of the NFL that they can get their offensive line together, and start making improvements immediately.

Bill Belichick must have his offensive line ready.