FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots' defense has been locked and loaded for some time. They start this 2019 season with basically the same group for the third-straight season. No one really missed much time in training camp, and they even got meaningful game snaps together in the third preseason game.
The offense is almost the exact opposite. When TomBrady takes the field Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he'll be throwing to an assortment of receivers where all but three (Phillip Dorsett, Ryan Izzo, Rex Burkhead) he didn't complete a pass to in the preseason: JulianEdelman (injured), JoshGordon (suspended), DemaryiusThomas (injured), MattLaCosse (injured), and JamesWhite (rest).
Throw in the fact that IsaiahWynn is making his first career start at left tackle, and TedKarras has replaced captain DavidAndrews (illness) at center, and you have the makings of one of the strangest starts to the season for an NFL offense.
That would be true if, you know, the quarterback was anyone other than Brady, and if the Patriots' offense and coordinator JoshMcDaniels weren't used to dealing with this ... every ... single ... season.
Just take a look at some of the turnover/adjustments needed among the featured players in the passing games since 2015 (changes in bold):