New England Patriots offensive line ranked in top-10

New England Patriots (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
New England Patriots (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots offensive line has graded out as one of the best in the NFL through 12 weeks.

The New England Patriots came into the season with some big question marks along their offensive line. Long-time left tackle, Nate Solder, moved on in free agency, agreeing to a record-setting deal with the New York Giants and leaving a huge hole along the Patriots’ offensive line.

With no clear-cut replacement on the roster, the Patriots looked outside the organization for help. With the first of their two first-round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Patriots selected Georgia offensive lineman, Isaiah Wynn. In addition, they also traded for Trent Brown from the San Francisco 49ers.

Those two were locked in a heated battle throughout the offseason, which Brown ultimately won. Wynn was expected to help along the offensive line at multiple positions, but injured his knee and was lost for the season a few months ago.

In addition to Wynn, the Patriots have also dealt with injuries to Shaq Mason and Marcus Cannon throughout the season. Despite the constant juggling along the offensive line, the Patriots have received excellent production in the trenches.

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New England did an excellent job building depth along the offensive line. When they had a player go down, they have capable backups such as LaAdrian Waddle, Ted Karras and Brian Schwenke to step in.

All of that depth and strong overall production have resulted in New England having one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. How good are they? Pro Football Focus ranked the Patriots’ offensive line in the top-10 through the first 12 weeks of the season.

New England comes in at No. 8 in the rankings through Week 12. Given all of the question marks surrounding the group, that is an outstanding ranking to receive. Here is what they had to say about the Patriots offensive line in their rankings.

"In the much anticipated Week 9 Sunday Night Football matchup with the Packers, the Pats’ offensive line paved the way to victory. Both Joe Thuney and Marcus Cannon had clean sheets on 40 pass-blocking snaps, and it was their highest-graded run-blocking performance, as well."

When they have needed it most, the Patriots offensive line has stepped up. Tom Brady receives a ton of time in the pocket, and the running backs have had plenty of rushing lanes opened up for them as well.

This has developed into a good unit and one that could be together for a long time. Waddle and Brown are signed only through 2019, but every other starter is signed through at least 2020. Shaq Mason already agreed to his contract extension, which can keep him in New England through 2024.

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That is excellent news for the Patriots. With Tom Brady under center, the Patriots are already at an advantage on an almost weekly basis. Give him a great offensive line to play behind, and the Patriots offense becomes extremely difficult to slow down.