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Patriots offense is spreading the football better than any other team in the league

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The Patriots have more talented skill players than any other team in the league.

NFL: New England Patriots at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots needed someone to pick up the offense after a disappointing week 1 performance against the Kansas City Chiefs. The team couldn’t overcome the loss of Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan were blanketed, and the Chiefs dared Tom Brady to win by throwing to a double-covered Brandin Cooks or Danny Amendola.

It didn’t work, Amendola was injured, and the Patriots needed to figure out an adjustment against the New Orleans Saints.

The Saints defense is the worst in the league and very few of their players would be able to contribute on the Chiefs defense. If the Patriots offense was ever going to get back on track, it would be against this defense.

Tom Brady spread the football to Gronkowski and Hogan and Cooks and James White and Phillip Dorsett and Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee and the Patriots offense was firing at a high level. They absolutely need to work on finishing drives in the red zone, but they made a major step forward in week 2.

The Patriots have six players with 100 or more yards from scrimmage, the most in the entire league, as the offense is finding a way to utilize all of their talent and force opposing defenses to respect every player on the field. The Atlanta Falcons have five such players. No other team has more than three.

James White leads the Patriots with 164 yards from scrimmage, followed by Rob Gronkowski with 149 and Brandin Cooks with 131. Mike Gillislee has 114 yards, Chris Hogan has 103, and Danny Amendola has exactly 100 yards in his one game. Add in Phillip Dorsett (75 yards) and Rex Burkhead (67 yards) as viable depth options, and the fact that Dion Lewis (34 yards) and Dwayne Allen (0 yards) haven’t been utilized and the highly-touted Patriots offensive depth is living up to the expectations, even with Edelman sidelined.

White and Gillislee are forming the tandem everyone expected, with Gillislee responsible for a league-high 4 rushing touchdowns and White’s 115 receiving yards the second-most for a running back in the NFL. Burkhead and Lewis are dual-threat back-up options.

Cooks and Dorsett are playing like deep threats, while Hogan and Amendola are moving the chains underneath. Gronkowski looked like he was getting back to being Gronkowski against the Saints.

Amendola should be available to play next week against the Houston Texans, Cooks and Dorsett will have another week to build a rapport with Brady, and hopefully Gronkowski and Hogan and Burkhead are able to overcome their reportedly minor injuries and contribute.

There is strong enough depth that the Patriots should really consider a rotation to give their starting skill players rest during the game; as it current stands Hogan (88%), Cooks (84%), and Gronkowski (79%) are the only players over 50% snaps on the year and maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to distribute some of their snaps to Dorsett and Allen and keep the starters around 75%, at least for the start of the season.

And now when the Patriots face any team for the rest of the season, defenses will have to respect every single skill player on the field as a legitimate threat. All of the pieces of the Patriots offense are coming together, even if it took a season opener to get rid of the rust and nerves.