New England Patriots Grades: Defense Shines In Win

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Oct 11, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) scores a touch down against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Here are this week’s New England Patriots game grades.

Pass Offense: B+

I believe this is the first time this season the Patriots have received anything less than an A for their performance in the passing game, and that is solely because of the poor overall play in the first half. Tom Brady was sacked five times, receivers struggled to separate, and the end result was only 13 points at the board. When I went back and took a look at the tape, the young rookies on the interior really had a solid game, even in the first half. Tre’ Jackson and Shaq Mason were particularly impressive, which means the future is extremely bright for the middle of Brady’s offensive line. Nate Solder struggled, although it was clear early on that Greg Hardy is still a very, very good pass rusher.

In the second half, it was a typical day for Brady and company, as he completed 10 of 11 passes, and added two scores to Julian Edelman, and Dion Lewis. The offensive line protected Brady much better, receivers were getting open, and the end result was another blowout win. I think the emergence of Dion Lewis is going to prove to be huge for this team going forward, because come playoff time, they will need another weapon other than Gronk and Jules that can make plays, and Lewis seems to be more than up to the task.

Rushing Offense: B

Again, the Patriots game-plan coming into this game was obviously to spread Dallas out, and throw the football. Tom Brady dropped back 32 times, and they only ran the ball 23 times, most of which came in garbage time. However when they did run the ball, I thought they were fairly effective. LeGarrette Blount carried it 13 times for 74 yards, and Dion Lewis took it six times for 34 yards, both averaging nearly six yards a pop.

Because New England doesn’t like to run the ball that much, I think this part of their offense is being severely underrated. Yes, Tom Brady and that aerial attack is unstoppable, but the power/quickness duo of Blount and Lewis at running back makes this offense even more dangerous, and over the course of the 2015 season, the national audience will begin to see why.

Next: Defensive Grades