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A Little Friday Pick-Me-Up

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A few interesting numbers to kick off your weekend.

Mike Ehrmann

In case you haven't noticed, there has been a little bit of unrest around Patriots Nation regarding the offensive line.

In short, they stink, and we are doing our best to make sure that nobody loses sight of that.

Of course, it isn't all on the line. So far this season, Tom Brady hasn't been very Brady-like. His completion percentage is a paltry 59.1 and his passer rating is a 83.0. That may be enough to earn him a nice contract with the New York Jets, but up here in New England, that stuff doesn't fly.

Of course, it isn't all on Tommy B; after all, he has been sacked seven times, hit twelve times, and hurried 34 times. Out of the 114 times Tommy B has dropped back to pass, he has been under pressure 53 of those times -  that's almost 50%. And while it's tough to put it all on Brady when he doesn't have time to do much of anything back there, Brady isn't immune to criticism. His number so far have been, as they say in Iceland, no bueno.

So, is all hope lost? Is it time to mail it in for the year and start rebuilding this nonexistent offensive line for 2014?

Not quite.

If you look back on the 2013 Patriots - you know, last year's squad that finished 3rd in the NFL in points scored, finished the year 12-4 despite the entire team being on IR, and managed to limp all the way to the AFC Championship game - you'll see that the numbers through three games are remarkably similar. Last year through three games, Brady was completing 57.4% of his passes with a passer rating of 79.4. He had also absorbed nine sacks, seven hits, and 37 hurries. That's 55 total pressures that Brady had to deal with in 2013 while we all grumbled about how the young receivers were unable to gel and how Brady doesn't have anyone to throw to. And the Patriots were 3-0 last year too. But of course, we're Patriots fans, so that wasn't good enough. We hadn't played anybody good yet, and it was just a matter of time before we were exposed as the frauds that we were - perhaps during Week 4, when the Patriots traveled down to an extremely loud stadium to play a huge primetime game against a prominent opponent looking to right the ship and get their season back on track again. The result of that game was a 30 point day that saw both the run and the passing game finally find a groove and a stud cornerback have a coming out party. And while it wasn't all gravy from there on out - the following week Brady had one of the worst games of his career against the Bengals, who coincidentally the Patriots play after the Chiefs - it is a testament to what anyone who has been around long enough will know.

The Pats are going to figure it all out. They are going to be fine. Their defense is already leaps and bounds ahead of where they were last year, and the offense is in roughly the same spot.

So let's all relax. After all, it's Friday.