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Patriots blocking, coverage, pressure stats through Week 4

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Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald tracks the Patriots stats ranging from blocking miscues, coverage, and pass rush that you don't see in a normal box score.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots have played four games and Boston Herald beat writer Jeff Howe has the stats for the four games. Howe covers blocking miscues, pass rush, and coverage numbers.

Blocking Miscues

The Patriots best offensive lineman was Nate Solder. Production at left tackle has been good for the team as Solder and Cameron Fleming have combined to give up 2 QB hits and Solder picking up a chop block penalty against the Bills. Nate Solder has been the Patriots best offensive lineman through this season, which isn't surprising since he's the most experienced player on that unit. Rookie LG Joe Thuney has been very solid with only 2 QB hits and 2 penalties in 4 games. That means the left side of the OL has been a rock this quarter of the season. The problem has been the right side of the line with Shaq Mason and Marcus Cannon. Cannon has been the weak link of the offensive line, to the surprise of no one, but the only realistic upgrade will be Sebastian Vollmer returning to health. The good news is the offensive line is getting continuity with the Solder-Thuney-Andrews-Mason-Cannon line having 3 games together. If they can continue to gel with Brady under center, then the offense should be ready to roll.

Pass Rush

The Patriots top pass rusher has been Jabaal Sheard with 3 sacks, 5 hits, 5 hurries, and 2 penalties drawn. Even with the increase in role he's been able to produce at his same level, so he's validated the decision to move Chandler Jones for a young player in a contract year and a 2nd round pick. Chris Long has been very valuable on a cheap contract with a sack, 5 hits, 5 pressures, and 2 batted passes and is just behind Sheard in total pressures. Trey Flowers in his first extended action has established himself as the #3 defensive end with 7 hits and a batted pass. The two linebackers Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins have been effective at blitzing, with Hightower picking up 3 hits and a deflected pass and Collins has a sack, 2 hits, and a deflected pass.

Coverage

Malcolm Butler has been the top CB, allowing no touchdowns and breaking up 5 passes. Teams have instead gone after Logan Ryan, who has 38 targets on the season as opposed to Butler's 26. That may be a case of Ryan lining up against the team's #1 receiver with safety help as well as was the case when Ryan covered DeAndre Hopkins. Justin Coleman has been the team's #3 CB and has done well overall. At the linebacker level, Jamie Collins has been great in coverage with a pair of interceptions.