It’s that time of the year again for the New England Patriots. The sixteen game preseason is over, and it’s time for the regular season. The AFC playoffs. New England finished the season with a record of 11-5, and secured the number two seed and a bye. It was an up-and-down year, but like usual they ended up at the top of the AFC.
Here’s my regular season report card for the most important players in every position group for the Patriots this year:
Tom Brady A+
Many “experts” have said all year he has not been the same player, and is all done. I completely disagree. He’s been outstanding with very below average weapons to work with, but is still putting up Pro Bowl numbers at 41 years old. If you think otherwise, you care too much about stats, and don’t watch the games.
James White A
All year he has been an amazing pass catcher out of the back field, with a whopping 87 catches, and averaged 4.5 yards a rush. Add in his 12 touchdowns, and his play has been huge this season.
Sony Michel A-
As a rookie, he started off slow. As the year progressed, so did he. 931 yards and 6 touchdowns on the ground is fantastic, especially considering the Georgia product missed three games. It looks like the Patriots have their lead back of the future.
Rob Gronkowski D
To say it was a down year was an understatement. His yards (682), catches (47), and touchdowns (3) are all about half of what you would expect from the all-time great. If it wasn’t for his blocking, he would receive an F.
much more from him this season, and too many times he was nowhere to be found.
Trent Brown C
The massive man had a good season for what he is, but his play has been overrated by many. He’s a below average tackle. The Patriots should find a better option next season.
Marcus Cannon C+
After his Pro Bowl season, Cannon has been very up and down this year. He’s been beat badly and gives up too many sacks.
Shaq Mason A-
This year when he was healthy, Mason proved that he was worth the $60 million New England is paying him. One of the best guards in the NFL.
Overall Offensive Grade: B+
Lawrence Guy A
Quietly, the big man had a fantastic season on the interior, doing his job to clog up the run. 59 tackles is very impressive for a nose tackle. The big season was surprising, but it could be an indicator of how good he really is.
Trey Flowers B+
Trey started the year hot, but came back down to earth. He’s a great talent and the team’s best pass rusher by a mile, but he can still improve on his 57 tackles and 7.5 sacks.
Deatrich Wise C+
Deatrich had a nice season, with 30 tackles and 4.5 sacks, but Patriots fans want to see more. There’s a lot of room left for growth from the youngster.
Kyle Van Noy A-
He’s stepped up big time this season, taking control of the middle of New England’s defense. He lead the team with 92 total tackles and made tons of big plays. Van Noy is not a star, but he’s very good.
Dont’a Hightower D+
For the money the Patriots pay him, he should be putting up Van Noy numbers. Instead, he has one interception, one blocked punt, and 48 total tackles. He looks very slow and old, but is still good for stopping the run.
defensive emotional leader and leading solo tackler. Great football player.
Jason McCourty B-
After teaming up with his twin he has played decent in the secondary. He’s not a lockdown corner, but he gets the job done and has been a great pickup.
Overall Defensive Grade: C
Stephen Gostkowski B-
Very solid this season, but five field goal misses is a little on the high end. He’s no longer a sure thing like he used to be.
Ryan Allen C
45 yards per punt is okay, but he’s just average. 16th in yards per punt and 18th in net yards, he’s nothing special. We all know Belichick loves his lefties.
Josh McDaniels C
One game he’s a genius the next he’s as conservative as they come. I’d say his play calling has been average and that he’s overrated without a doubt. He’ll be gone next year guaranteed anyways, but maybe he can cook up a few good games in the playoffs like he has in the past.
Brian Flores C+
If he’s running the defense then this is the grade he deserves, it’s been a very inconsistent defense and is quite flawed. He doesn’t have a lot of talent to work with so he can only shoulder so much blame too.
Bill Belichick B
Compared to his usual flawless self he’s had a few hiccups this year. From the Miami Miracle to his inability to get stars around Brady on offense it hasn’t been his best performance, but still one of the best of course.
Overall Grade: B
This isn’t the best Patriots team in the last two decades, and have many flaws, but they’re sitting right where they have been the last nine seasons with a first round bye. With Brady at the helm, anything is possible. A run at ring number six seems unlikely with this mediocre roster, but don’t count New England out just yet!
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