Offensive line remains intact
One of the great strengths for the Patriots this season was how well their offensive line played. The return of offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia really helped this young unit grow, and they sure did play well in 2016. Under Scarnecchia, we saw the Patriots once again have one of the best lines in the NFL.
In the 2015 AFC Championship Game against the Denver Broncos, the offensive line was one of the reasons why the team lost to the Broncos. The inability to protect Brady cost them in that game, but it was an area that they fixed this season. Even though the Patriots struggled a bit with their pass protection in the first half of the Super Bowl, adjustments were made to protect Brady in the second half.
When the pocket is clean, there is no stopping Brady and the Patriots’ passing offense. With all five members of the offensive line back next year, this unit will continue to gel. Giving praise to the offensive line isn’t always the first thing people mention. However, this unit deserves a lot of credit for their great season in both pass and run blocking. Assuming they stay together like we think, the Patriots will have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL next season.