The Patriots offense suffered a devastating blow in preseason when Julian Edelman tore his ACL. Edelman was the engine that made the offense go, the guy who made the tough catches in the biggest moments and without him there wouldn’t be two more banners hanging over Gillette Stadium
However this season the Patriots were uniquely prepared for such a loss. They added two very good running backs to go with two they already had, and gave up a first round pick for the explosive Brandin Cooks. Even after Malcolm Mitchell, a promising rookie from 2016, started the season on IR, the Patriots still had enough depth with Chris Hogan and in-season acquisition Phillip Dorsett to keep the passing offense going.
With their best receiver missing the Patriots have almost become harder to defend. We all remember the original Tom Brady motto — that his favorite receiver was the open one. Well in 2017 that might be truer than ever, as Brady has spread the ball around far more evenly than any recent season. This has made the Patriots offense even harder to stop because there’s no one to key on.
Let’s take a closer look this devastating balance that is making 2017 one of the most unique years of the Brady offense and how it stacks up historically.