Patriots lead NFL in drops

October, 25, 2012
10/25/12
2:51
PM ET
On the surface, the New England Patriots are doing extremely well offensively. They have the No. 1 offense in the NFL and are top five in both rushing and passing.

But a deeper look inside the statistics reveals a few cracks in the armor. One telling stat is New England leads the NFL in dropped passes.

New England is tops in the league with 18 drops in seven games, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The drops are spread across the board. Skill players like tight end Rob Gronkowski (four) and receivers Brandon Lloyd (five) and Wes Welker (four) have all contributed.

The drops aren’t very noticeable when New England is scoring a league-high 31 points per game. The Patriots are marching up and down the field with their up-tempo offense and that masks a lot of mistakes.

But seven games are enough of a sample to be concerned about New England's case of the dropsies. The Patriots have been in a lot of close games already this season and that will continue in the second half of the season and most likely into the playoffs.

New England’s offense doesn’t have a lot of weaknesses, but this clearly is one of them. The good news is drops are correctable with more focus and concentration by New England’s tight ends, receivers and running backs.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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