Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The bye week is over, and the New England Patriots are in the midst of their preparatory routine right now. The team has received a clean bill of health and simply couldn’t be in a better position entering Week 5 against the Dallas Cowboys. Here are six reasons why we ae excited for the showdown:
6. The wave of innovation that is the Patriots’ offensive line
Before our eyes, Bill Belichick is revolutionizing offensive line strategy. A rash of preseason injuries to starting lineman made for a trio of rookie starters on the interior of the offensive line, but that was just the beginning. To say the Patriots have been toying with a few different combinations would be an understatement.
As noted by Erik Frenz of the Bleacher Report yesterday, Pro Football Focus has recorded Tom Brady being under pressure in just 25.2 percent of his dropbacks. Brady has been sacked just six times in three games, as well. Evidently, Belichick’s scheming has paid off.
It will be interesting to see how the offensive line, in whatever combination, holds up against a formidable Dallas front seven on Sunday. Greg Hardy returns from suspension this week, so the Cowboys will get a boost with him in the lineup.
Ryan Wendell will make his 2015 debut in Week 5, so the Pats’ total number of offensive line combinations is guaranteed to increase.
Next: 5. Akiem Hicks’ debut as a Patriot