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Patriots' Offensive Line Earns Highest WAR Grade in NFL From PFF

PFF's WAR metric has determined that the Patriots had the most valuable offensive line in the league in 2020.

Games are won and lost in the trenches -- while the 2020 New England Patriots may not have had the strongest defensive buttress up front, they certainly had the most valuable one on offense.

According to Pro Football Focus' Wins Above Replacement (WAR) metric, the Patriots offensive line ranked first in the league. While many fans already knew how great the team's offensive line was, this puts into perspective how important the composition of the offensive front five is to the success of the team.

The 2020 offensive line consisted mainly of Isaiah Wynn, Justin Herron, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Jermaine Eluemunor, and of course, Michael Onwenu. Arguably the two best players on the line, Thuney and Andrews, are free agents this offseason. With New England entering a great period of cap flexibility, it would make sense to prioritize resigning them, especially given the importance of the offensive line to the team's composition.

A notorious mistake that teams tend to make when attempting to rebuild a franchise is drafting a quarterback without the proper surrounding cast; perhaps there is no better recent example of this than the Indianapolis Colts drafting Andrew Luck. Despite having a generational talent at the most important position, they did not give him a viable offensive line -- because of this, not only were they unable to win any hardware, but they also gave Luck a lifetime's worth of injuries and an early retirement.

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With the Patriots looking to enter a modified rebuild in the post-Tom Brady era, it should be a primary goal of the offseason to preserve the biggest strength of the team. Regardless of who is under center for the team at the start of the 2021 season, it is imperative for New England's long-term success that the offensive line remains well-built.