Pro Football Focus recently released rankings for every team’s offensive line. Find out how the New England Patriots compare to the rest of the league.
It may seem hard to believe that the defending Super Bowl champions have an offensive line ranked in the bottom half of the NFL. But that is the case for the New England Patriots according to analytics experts Pro Football Focus. PFF ranked every team earlier this week, with the Philadelphia Eagles topping the list.
The Patriots ranked No. 10 last year, which is why this is a bit surprising. PFF gave right tackle Marcus Cannon a No. 4 grade among all run-blocking offensive linemen. Left tackle Nate Solder tied for 10th among pass-blocking offensive linemen.
Last season, PFF gave credit to the return of offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, who retired for two years (2014 and 2015). Scarnecchia helped turned Cannon into a second-team All-Pro. PFF had the following to say about 2017…
"This ranking is purely a quirk of the system we used to compile it. Since they were compiled off two-year sample, players like right guard Shaq Mason and right tackle Marcus Cannon — who both drastically improved a season ago — get underrated. Realistically, this is the same line that finished last year ranked 10th and should only keep improving."
It is worth noting that only one of the teams with a Top 5 offensive line made the playoffs last season (Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 3). Three of the Top 5 finished with losing records in 2016 as well, including the Philadelphia Eagles (No. 1), Cleveland Browns (No. 2) and Chicago Bears (No. 5). Of that group, the Eagles have the best shot by far to turn things around and make the postseason in 2017.