New England Patriots Week Two Improvements

An analysis of the Patriots Week 2 Improvements Test

Passing Game

The passing in week one was absolutely terrible but it bounced back tremendously for the second game. 

In week 1, Tom Brady completed 16 of 36 passes (44.4%) which is way below his career average.

In week 2, he bounced back with an above average game completing 30 out of 39 attempts. 

The average gain per attempt nearly doubled (7.4 yards in week 1 to 11.46 yards in week 2). 


Gronk saw a huge uptick in performance. From only catching 2 of his 6 targets for 33 yards in the first game to catching 6 out of 9 of his targets in the second for 116 yards (and a touchdown).

Phillip Dorsett was called upon and answered catching all 3 of the passes thrown to him for a total of 68 yards.

Brandin Cooks saw less targets (4 compared to 7 a week ago). I wonder if Phillip Dorsett will continue to climb at the expense of Cooks or if this game will just end up being on outlier.

Running backs saw some action but it seems as if passing downs belong to James White. He caught all 8 passes thrown his way for an average of 10 yards per catch (85 yards total). Rex Burkhead caught 3 of his 4 targets for a total of 40 yards.

Rushing Game

The Patriots actually had more rushing touchdowns in week one, 3 compared to 1. Most of those were goal line carries though. The interesting thing here is how they redistributed the work load in week 2.

In week 1, they ran the ball 35 times for 124 yards (3.54 yard average). 

In week 2, they ran 31 times for 119 yards (3.84 yard average).


Mike Gillislee seems to be slipping into the role of every down back which is great if you have him on your fantasy team. In week one he got 3 touchdowns compared to week two where he got 1 touchdown but that's going to be a normal fluctuation. The important thing is how many carries he's getting. He went from 15 carries of the teams 35 (43%) to 18 of the teams 31 carries (58%).


James White saw the biggest decrease in carries. He went from 10 carries in week one to 2 in week 2. It seems as if he's going to be mostly a pass catcher at this point while Gillislee takes the bulk of the carries.


It seems as if the Patriots are going with a comittee approach behind Gillislee. In both games so far they've handed the ball to 5 different guys. Mike Gillislee, James White, Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead all got carries in both games. Chris Hogan got a couple attempts in week one (3 for 17 yards) and in week 2 it was Phillip Dorset and Brandin Cooks getting those attempts (1 for 7 yards and 2 for 6 yards respectively).

Now Watch Gronk Score!

We're going to see if an uptick in stats is in the cards for this weekend's game against the Carolina Panthers based off recent history.

A detailed analysis of the rushing and receiving stats for the first four games of the season.

David Johnson is out for a few months, lets look at who will likely pick up the slack.