Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Snap counts telling in health of Patriots offensive unit

It's no secret that the New England Patriots roster has endured a slew of injuries this season.

Whether it's been on the offensive line, the wide receiver corps or at running back, the revolving door for Pats replacements really hasn't stopped spinning since Week 1.

Mike Reiss of analyzed the play of rookie David Andrews Tuesday, who was one of 12 offensive linemen to take a snap for New England this season. The O-line was arguably the most injury-plagued unit on the team this season, but a quick look at the offensive snap counts as a whole really puts the team’s season-long struggles into focus.

Out of 1,119 total offensive snaps, only two — yes, two — Patriots players were involved in more than 80 percent of the plays: Tom Brady (98.8) and Rob Gronkowski (84.2). Only three were involved in even 75 percent of the plays, with third-year guard Josh Kline taking 866 snaps.

Costly losses in the run game kept any back from getting more than 28 percent of total snaps (LeGarrette Blount had the most with 308), while big time injuries to the likes of Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell held any wideout from seeing more than 60 percent of total offensive plays.

Love them or hate them, scoring the third-most points of any team is pretty impressive under those circumstances — almost as impressive as a 12-win season.

Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily