Pats Notes: Brady, Gronk, O-Line

Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writes that, although the league’s quarterbacks have seen a general uptick in overall statistical performance through the first three weeks of the 2014 season–standard small sample size disclaimers apply–those numbers are not being driven by the traditionally elite signal-callers. Among the under-performing big names is the Patriots’ Tom Brady, who as Volin notes, has produced “head-scratchingly bad” statistics.

Those stats include a 58.8 completion percentage, 5.5 yards per attempt, and 210.7 passing yards per game. There are, of course, reasons for those numbers: Brady is clearly uncomfortable throwing the ball downfield and has little faith in his receivers and his offensive line. Nonetheless, Brady will, as Volin points out, have to pick up the slack if the team is to make its yearly run to the playoffs, even though the AFC East is shaping up to be just as weak as it always is.

Here are a few more Patriots tidbits to pass along this morning:

  • Speaking of Brady’s struggles, Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes that analysts like Trent Dilfer and Matt Hasselbeck point out the flaws in the Patriots’ roster to explain some of Brady’s problems, along with Brady’s increasing penchant to take the safe throw rather than force the issue. Nonetheless, both believe that Brady will be able to overcome his early-season woes and put up solid numbers yet again.
  • One thing that would certainly help a Brady resurgence is the continued good health of Rob Gronkowski. Phil Perry of observes that Gronkowski should be able to become the middle-of-the-field threat that the team needs him to be sooner rather than later, which would open up the passing game for the rest of the team’s receiving corps.
  • As noted above, the offensive line has been a big problem for New England. Adam Kurkjian of the Boston Herald writes that the Pats will go into Monday’s game against Kansas City with Nate Solder at left tackle, Bryan Stork at center, Dan Connolly at right guard and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle. Kurkjian notes that left guard remains unsettled, with Marcus Cannon and Ryan Wendell as possibilities. Perry has the same suggestion in a video post.
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