Grading the 2019 Patriots II: Two seasons after having an elite passing offense, Patriots flirt with being below average

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Before an NFL team turns the page on the previous season and moves forward to the next, they put the team and their players under a microscope to see what worked, what didn’t, and what needs to be changed/altered to make progress in 2020.

Obviously, we have no idea what the Patriots’ internal grading looks like, and we don’t anticipate Bill Belichick opening up his grade book to the public anytime soon. So, we’re left to do our homework with some assistance from people who have knowledge of how the Patriots view things.

So we’ll start our dissection (which is a homage to my mentor, Bob McGinn) with an overview of the team and positions, and then we’ll move onto individual player grades/assessments. Finally, we’ll conclude with our imitated but never duplicated offseason depth chart coded for performance and contract status, and with a comprehensive analysis of team needs headed into the ’20 offseason.

Here's the 2018 version.

Part IGrading the 2019 Patriots: Patriots were better overall, but tilted too much to the defense; Brady improved
Now: Part II — Team grades for passing offense, rushing offense.
NextPart III — Team grades for passing defense, rushing defense.
Then: Part IV — Team grades for special teams, personnel moves, coaching and overall.
FinallyPart V—Individual offensive, Part VI—Defensive grades.

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And with that, let’s get started…

PASSING OFFENSE: C-minus (2018: B-plus; 2017: A)

A huge, huge step back for this unit. Historic, even, for these Patriots. We thought things looked rough a year ago ... the Patriots' passing DVOA from of 13.6 this season was their worst since