I said last night after the game that I couldn’t wait to see the Offensive Line grades that came out today. Pro Football Focus produces weekly and yearly grades for all players and it’s the only site a fan can see what the rankings are. Several scribes don’t agree with the rankings that PFF produces but without anything to compare it to, they are the one independent source you can see. PFF posts how they arrive at the grades.
Last night I reported that this was the 7th different Starting Offensive Line combination the Patriots started their 7 games. I was incorrect, it was the 6th different line combination as they used the Brown LT, Mafi LG, D. Andrews C, Owenu RG, and Lowe at RT starting lineup in consecutive weeks against Dallas and New Orleans in blowout losses in weeks 4 and 5. Per PFF, Lowe is ranked 72 of 75 Offensive Tackles. Put this in perspective there are 32 teams with 2 starters. Lowe is not a starter!
In week 7, Trent Brown was rated as the #1 Tackle with an 87.9 rating. The much-maligned rookie Sidy Sow was ranked as the #2 Guard with an 86.4 rating. According to the Boston Herald’s Doug Kyed, Sow’s rating was the highest ranking this year of any rookie Offensive lineman. Michael Owenu was given a #5 ranking with a 74.5 rating. This ranking was listed under the OG position when Owenu actually played RT. Chris Price wrote in the Globe today asking, “Is Mike Onwenu at right tackle the final piece of the puzzle for the Patriots’ beleaguered offensive line?” Bill Belichick said, “I had a good conversation with Mike after the Raider game and ultimately I think everyone thought that was the best thing for us to do at this time,” Belichick said in his Monday press conference. “So, we went with it. He had a good week, and thought he did a good job for us. “Mike played [right tackle] his rookie year. He’s a smart kid — understands probably all the different positions on the offensive line. Pretty good fundamental player, and obviously has got good strength.” Onwenu said he was “indifferent” to where he ended up.
“I’ve played the position before,” he said. “So it’s just about adjusting and going week to week against the team we’re playing.”
“I don’t choose where I play. We’ll just see where that happens to be.”
Trent Brown went out of the lineup for a brief time and Vedarian Lowe replaced him for a few plays, but a few plays by Lowe was enough to see him turn into a turnstile. Brown was back in the lineup for the game winning series.
Sidy Sow took his lumps during the Pre-season when he was asked to play Right Tackle, a position he hadn’t played since his freshman year in college 5 years earlier. Sow got beat up in the Pre-season. The 4th Round selection (#117) from Eastern Michigan learned some valuable lessons. Usually, rookie Offensive Lineman gets to sit and learn for at least a season. He was taking 1st team reps all Pre-Season out of position. He applied what he had learned, and he also got to play between veterans David Andrews and Michael Owenu on Sunday. Hopefully the injury to Trent Brown is not significant and this unit can play together for the remainder of the season.
Mac Jones playing behind a good Offensive Line
Amazing what Mac Jones can do when he has a solid line playing in front of him. All he did was complete 25 of 30 passes for an 83.3% completion %. That was good for the #1 position amongst QBs this week. His 73.5 rating by PFF was his highest for the season. I think this rating is low because they gave him a low fumble rating when he didn’t fumble. That play was ruled an incomplete pass when Pop Douglas made a rookie mistake and didn’t stay in the soft spot of the zone. Jones tried to pull the pass back, but it slipped out of his hands and was ruled an incomplete pass. I don’t ever want to see Mac Jones try a QB sneak again. He is not a runner period. Bring in Malik Cunningham, which means Cunningham has to be active.
Controversial Plays and Officiating
The Bills fans and media were apoplectic about the two calls that went against the Bills. Latavious Murray had a blatant pick play that left Dawson Knox wide open for a TD at the end of the 1st quarter. The nullified TD resulted in a Field Goal. The official call was for Offensive Pass Interference as Murray was blocking like an offensive lineman while the ball was in the air. The media tried to claim that the Patriots DB ran into Murray.
The big controversary was the Illegal Man Downfield flag that would have nullified Rhamondre Stevenson’s 34-yard catch and run on the opening play of the game winning drive from the Patriots 25- yard line. David Andrews was singled out by the broadcasting crew of Ian Eagle and Charles Davis as the offending player. I have reviewed that play 10 times and Andrews and another O-lineman are no more than 3-yards off the line of scrimmage when the ball is released by Mac Jones. The flag was correctly picked up and the big play counted. That call in the last two minutes had to come from New York as a booth review.
Posted Under: Patriots News