If you’ve ever had a night out when you’ve flat-out embarrassed yourself, made a scene, danced your little heart out, rode the mechanical bull, crushed some karaoke, or been picked up and told “You’re going to need to leave”, you know the feeling of “Welp, THAT one’s going to keep coming up whenever the gang and I go out for a while”.
And if you haven’t been there, we’d bet the rent you’re lying.
All this is a rather roundabout way of saying that more than likely described many, many Massholes this past weekend in Nashville (where this Masshole happens to live), including your New England Patriots. Mistakes were made. The kind of mistakes that make your bank call you and ask about “several unusual charges” on your account, and all you can do is say “actually, all those...are accurate”.
One may think that the Patriots offensive line blew it on Sunday against the Titans’ underratedly nasty defense, and while they certainly had some high-visibility F-ups, overall, you’d probably be surprised to learn they’re still playing at a pretty flex-on-em level.
To what degree can the New England big guys flex on ‘em? Excellent question. How about still being ranked in the top 10 in the league by Pro Football Focus, even after the Titans game?
Prior to last week, PFF had the Pats O-line ranked 3rd in the entire league (!!!). Now? They’re all the way down to...8th, and both points that PFF makes about the unit as of right now are worth noting on their own merits (or, in the second one, the lack thereof):
This offensive line is one of the best in the NFL when healthy, but when Trent Brown was forced to leave against the Titans Sunday due to injury, things fell apart.
If only the Patriots had drafted a blue chip prospect that could jump in when the starting left tackle had to come out...wait a second.
Backup LaAdrian Waddle has been the seventh-lowest graded tackle in pass protection this season and was once again a liability Sunday.
Look man, I know quality tackles are hard to find, much less quality backup tackles, but that...that’s rough. Those other six guys are lucky I’m too cheap to pay for the real good PFF access so I don’t know who they are.
But there is more good news! You probably heard that recent bag-acquirer Shaq Mason didn’t make the trip to Tennessee due to a calf injury, so while Ted Karras held that spot down (mostly), left guard Joe Thuney had himself a day - as a matter in fact, he had himself the best day of any left guard in the game.
And for that, Thuney checked in on Pro Football Focus’s Week 10 team of the week, alongside All-Pro and all-around manimal Zack Martin.
Joe Thuney, New England Patriots – 76.5 overall grade
Thuney delivered a standout performance in pass protection, with no sacks, hits or hurries allowed on the day. That 100.0 pass-blocking efficiency is particularly impressive when you consider that the Patriots dropped back to pass 47 times in the game.
Want some offensive line highlights? Big dudes leveling other not-as-big dudes? Don’t threaten me with a good time!
(thanks a ton to our good buddy Evan Lazar, whose game threads are legen...wait for it...DARY)
Here’s Ted Karras dropping the hammer:
Ted Karras on the counter pull blows up the LB. Also love how hard Sony runs. Get those pads down and keep the legs moving for extra yardage. #Patriots pic.twitter.com/d2IBAUk6xm— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) November 13, 2018
And Trent Brown seeing a guy going for Brady and thinking “Oh...I wouldn’t do that if I were you”:
LT Trent Brown looking for work has become a thing. Nobody rushes over him and he absolutely demolishes the 4i technique DL. #Patriots pic.twitter.com/41QExw971m— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) November 13, 2018
And lest you think we won’t give La’Adrian Waddle credit when he deserves it, watch him just take the rusher completely out of the play here:
Brady was in rhythm in the one-minute drill before the half. Fantastic catch by Edelman but the low ball placement under some pressure was also good from Brady. #Patriots pic.twitter.com/4Pyy1JDj9S— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) November 13, 2018
There’s certainly some bad beats in that thread too, but where’s the fun in that?
For now, especially if you’re the EVERYTHING IS AWFUL type, as opposed to the EVERYTHING IS AWESOME, EVERYTHING IS COOL WHEN YOU’RE PART OF THE TEAM type, just roll into the bye week knowing that when this line is on their game, they can go size-16-toe-to-size-16-toe with anyone in this league.
Enjoy your bye weekend. Go play outside or something.