The Patriots offense has settled into a pretty good, balanced groove. Their top four receivers all have similar target numbers and their running backs can do a variety of things that keep defenses off balance. It’s a new evolution for Tom Brady‘s offense and while there are still growing pains, it was largely effective, especially in the middle of the field.
The problem, as has been well noted this week, is in the red zone. This season the Pats rank 18th overall in red zone offense, a significant departure from their ranking the past three years, 2014: 5th, 2015: 4th, 2016: 10th. Really, if you’re looking for one stat that could sum what the Pats need to improve, it’s in the red zone. This is a bit of a surprise because you’d think the problem without Julian Edelman would be on third down, however the Pats have seen little dip there.
Let’s take a look at a few plays from the Chargers game that show us what the 2017 edition of the offense is.