The word on the Patriots offense out of training camp hasn’t been good, at least for the passing game. The rookie tight ends have yet to show any consistently good play, the wide receiver problems from 2019 have persisted and the fake quarterback competition has failed to compel. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. The Patriots still have a lot of talent on offense, it’s just about getting each player to fulfill their potential. Here’s what to expect from some of the key names.
Don’t expect an MVP season from Cam Newton, but his interceptions should be below his usual average. His rushing stats should see an uptick from 2018, but I don’t expect the Patriots to use his mobility much in the redzone despite their lack of success there in recent years with so many different options at running back. One of these players should prove to be a reliable enough goalline back with a solid interior offensive line that has David Andrews back. New England shouldn’t have to rely on Newton to run it in himself too often.
Prediction: 3,211 passing yards, 22 passing touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 521 rushing yards, 4 rushing touchdowns
Harry should significantly improve from his rookie season, but don’t expect him to break into your fantasy lineup any time soon. He should produce a solid enough season to give New England fans hope that something better is coming in 2021.
Prediction: 45 catches, 752 yards, 6 touchdowns
Despite public scrutiny, Edelman did post his second 100-catch season and a career-high in receiving yards last season. A bit of a drop off from there is likely, especially considering his health may falter given his age and injury history, but he’s still the unquestioned #1 option in the Patriots offense.
Prediction: 88 catches, 1,002 yards, 5 touchdowns
Asiasi has evidently flashed at times in camp, but it doesn’t sound like he’s taken the reigns as the number one tight end. Nevertheless, his talent is evident. He may sparingly see the field early on, but eventually should start feeling more comfortable and putting his great athleticism to work.
Prediction: 31 catches, 329 yards, 3 touchdowns
The Damien Harris hype train is at full steam, but it may be time to cool the engines a bit. The Patriots have a lot of solid options at running back and Harris can’t be expected to see a heavy workload, especially given New England’s fondness of giving opponents different looks. In a backfield with White, Burkhead, Miller and Michel, the second-year Harris would be lucky to see 100 carries.
Prediction: 121 carries, 506 yards, 5 touchdowns
Team Offense Prediction: 23.7 points per game – 14th in the NFL
(Photo: Michael Dwyer – AP Photo)