New England Patriots: Offensive Line Ranked Well by Pro Football Focus


Pro Football Focus has recently released their offensive line rankings. Where did the Patriots’ offensive line rank this season?

It was a great season for the New England Patriots in 2016. They had success on both offense and defense, which resulted in a 14-2 record.

One of the units on the Patriots that many were unsure of this season was their offensive line. As shown against the Broncos in the AFC Championship Game last season, the offensive line struggled for the Patriots.

Coming into the season, Pro Football Focus had the Patriots’ offensive line ranked 18th in the NFL. With some help from the return of offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, the offensive line has turned into a very good unit once again.

Left tackle Nate Solder was graded as the best overall lineman for the Patriots with an 88.0 rating. As a run-blocker, it was right tackle Marcus Cannon who was rated the highest at 87.3.

Here’s what PFF had to say about the Patriots’ offensive line:

"It’s impossible to overstate the effect the return of longtime O-line coach Dante Scarnecchia has had on this unit, which was a major problem for the team a year ago. RT Marcus Cannon has gone from a liability to a second-team All-Pro, and RG Shaquille Mason has undergone a similar transformation when it comes to pass protection.Nate Solder returned to his best play after two lackluster seasons, and only the struggles of rookie Joe Thuney as a pass blocker held this line back. Thuney allowed 45 total QB pressures and was flagged 10 times over the season."

The improved offensive line of the Patriots will certainly help them in the playoffs this year. Due to the improvement of the offensive line, Tom Brady has been well protected this season. If there is a formula to beating the Patriots, it is certainly to get pressure on Brady.

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In addition to the great protection of Brady, the offensive line has also helped sparked the rediscovered rushing attack. The balanced offense of the Patriots has certainly been caused by the improvement on their offensive line.