It used to be easy to know when to do the mid-season report card for the Patriots. A 16-game schedule gave a perfect halfway point, eight games in and with eight games to go. That disappeared this year with the 17-game slate, so we’ll use the halfway point of the league schedule this time around.
Nine weeks in, with nine weeks to go, the Patriots are hitting their stride and playing their best football of the season. Sunday’s win against the Panthers extended the current winning streak to three games, and has them over .500 for the first time this season at 5-4. Combined with Buffalo’s loss to Jacksonville, the Pats are just a half a game back in the AFC East.
Who has stepped up to allow the Patriots to get to this point? Who has room to grow in the second half of the season? Let’s take a look through the grades to find out.
But first, a few notes. First off, all positions are graded against expectations. Basically, it’s not just how well or how poorly the players at the position are performing, but how that level of performance compares to what was expected at the start of the season. Secondly, the grades are weighted with a recency bias. Football is a ‘what have you done for me lately’ game, and these grades reflect that.
Here’s the Patriots’ offensive grades for the first half of 2021…