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How Healthy Were the Patriots the Last Two Years?

New England has been plagued by injury in 2013 but was relatively healthy in 2014.

Healthy Gronk is the best Gronk.
Healthy Gronk is the best Gronk.
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

A football team's success depends on a lot of things. Players and schemes are without a doubt important – as is health. Recent analysis by Bleeding Green Nation shows that the New England Patriots were below-average the last two seasons when it comes to this factor of the game.

In 2013, the team (12-4, lost AFC Championship Game) ranked 29th in terms of adjusted games lost due to injury; last year (12-4, won Super Bowl XLIX), New England was 12th (chart via r/nfl):

fo agl

AGL is metric created by Football Outsiders and described as follows:

With Football Outsiders' Adjusted Games Lost (AGL) metric, we are able to quantify how much teams were affected by injuries based on two principles: (1) Injuries to starters, injury replacements and important situational reserves matter more than injuries to bench warmers; and (2) Injured players who do take the field are usually playing with reduced ability, which is why Adjusted Games Lost is based not strictly on whether the player is active for the game or not, but instead is based on the player's listed status that week (IR/PUP, out, doubtful, questionable or probable).

In 2014, the Patriots were relatively lucky on the injury front. Even though 12 players ended the year on injured reserve, only two of them – Jerod Mayo (torn patellar tendon) and Stevan Ridley (ACL) – were regular starters. The year prior, the Patriots had one fewer player on IR but among the 11 who ended their season injured were starters Rob Gronkowski (ACL), Vince Wilfork (Achilles), Sebastian Vollmer (broken foot) and, once again, Mayo (torn pectoral muscle).

With training camp starting in about three weeks, one of the Patriots' main goals has to be staying as healthy as possible. After all, injuries – as 2013 shows – have the ability to alter a team's season.