Disappointing rookies and mostly underwhelming veterans marred the Patriots' offense last season.
So did having a pissy quarterback, injuries to the offensive line and no tight ends — but now the line is healed, the QB is gone and at least there are bodies at tight end.
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So let's see where the arrow should realistically be pointing for the returning #weaponz. Will these individuals be better or worse in 2020?
SONY MICHEL: BETTER
2019 stats: 247 carries, 912 yards (3.7 yards/carry), 7 TD
With major injuries at offensive line and fullback, Michel took a step backward in his second season. James Develin has since retired, but the offensive line is returning, including the surprise move of retaining Joe Thuney.
DAMIEN HARRIS: BETTER
2019 stats: 2 games played, 4 carries, 12 yards
Boy, you'd have to think he'll be better, right? The 2019 third-round pick looked good in preseason, then played in only two games all season. His lack of usage was a season-long mystery, meaning either last year was some weird red-shirt year or the Patriots just think he stinks.
We'll find out, as five carries is all it will take for him to surpass his total from last season.
JAMES WHITE: SAME
2019 stats: 67 carries, 263 yards (3.9 yards/carry), TD; 72 receptions, 645 yards, 5 TD
This is a coin toss. He'll be an awesome asset for Stidham, but Brady relied on him pretty heavily the last couple of years, so I can't see him being much better.
A repeat of his production in the receiving game would be fine, especially if Michel does more as a lead back.
REX BURKHEAD: WORSE
2019 stats: 66 carries, 302 yards (4.6 yards/carry), 3 TD; 27 receptions, 279 yards
The touchdowns weren't there, but last year was the best season yards-wise of Burkhead's Patriots career. He's a hard player to project because you don't know (a) Whether he'll be healthy or (b) Why the Patriots like him so much.
JULIAN EDELMAN: WORSE
2019 stats: 100 receptions, 1,117 yards, 6 TD
Tom Brady loved Julian Edelman. We don't know how a 33-year-old Edelman will click with Jarrett Stidham, but it's fair to assume he won't be fifth in the league in catches like he was last season.
N'KEAL HARRY: BETTER
2019 stats: 7 games played, 7 receptions, 105 yards, 2 TD
Harry remains an unknown after missing the first half of the season and being a healthy scratch for a game once he came off IR. Missing part of training camp can really set a rookie back, so the question now is whether he gets any semblance of a regular camp in Year 2 given all that's going on with COVID-19.
MOHAMED SANU: BETTER
2019 stats with NE: 8 games played, 26 receptions, 207 yards, TD
Sanu has been a pretty good receiver throughout his career. He was not that with the Patriots, even when you factor in that he was playing with a bad ankle. The hands weren't there, the blocking famously wasn't there on that jet sweep to N'Keal Harry against the Bills and overall his performance was not worth the steep price paid (the 55th overall pick, which the Falcons then traded for Hayden Hurst) for his services.
All that is to say this: Sanu can't possibly be as bad as that, right? He's gotten surgery for that high ankle sprain and will be both healthy and better-adjusted to New England's offense. Unless the 30-year-old is just cooked, 600 yards should be a realistic mark.
JAKOBI MEYERS: BETTER
2019 stats: 26 receptions, 359 yards
I'll be honest: I watched every Patriots game last season and do not remember him having 359 receiving yards. Anyway, we all saw that he and Stidham had a good rapport in the preseason, but that's the preseason. I think Meyers will be better because he's got a quarterback that trusts him.
If he can't improve given those circumstances, that could just about do it for the undrafted receiver.