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Patriots Playing Historically Balanced Offense

The Patriots are trying to be the fifth team to ever hit this offensive milestone

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The Patriots are on pace to something incredible.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski is on pace for 1,181 receiving yards.

Wide receiver Julian Edelman is scheduled to run for 122 yards and catch 1,011 more, for a total of 1,133 yards.

Running back Shane Vereen's numbers extrapolate to 495 rushing yards and 513 receiving, for 1,008 total yards.

Wide receive Brandon LaFell is on pace for 980 receiving yards. If you remove either of his first two games, where he gained zero total yards? He's on pace for 1,011 yards.

The Patriots have three players, with a potential fourth, who could gain over 1,000 yards from scrimmage this season. Gronk needs to average 38 yards per game for the rest of the season, Edelman 45, Vereen 62, and LaFell 66. All possible, and if all happen then the Patriots will be in new territory.

The Patriots have never four players gain 1,000 yards from scrimmage in the same season. In fact, they've never had more than two players hit that mark in the same season. Not in 2004. Not in 2007. Not in 2011. The 2014 Patriots might be the most balanced on offense in New England history. This is also ignoring that a healthy Stevan Ridley would have been a possible fifth.

A team with three 1,000 yard players isn't a unique situation- four teams reached the milestone last season (Bears, Broncos, Lions, Chargers) and seven more are within striking distance for this season (Bears, Bengals, Packers, Texans, Patriots, Eagles, and Buccaneers).

The Bengals actually present a second possible 4-by-1,000 team, with Jeremy Hill, Mohamed Sanu, Giovani Bernard, and A.J. Green all potentially hitting the mark. But the Patriots are closer and, no offense to the Bengals, more potent on offense.

New England is trying to be the fifth team in NFL history to join the 4x1k club, alongside the 1989 Washington team, the 1990 Oilers, the 1995 Falcons, and the 2004 Colts. The first team didn't even make the playoffs (albeit they were 10-6), the next two were eliminated wild card weekend (both 9-7 in the regular season). The 12-4 Colts were stopped cold in New England.

As the Patriots approach a historical landmark, let's hope they have more success than their predecessors.