What does this NFL roster stat say about Patriots' chances in AFC East?

Darren Hartwell
NBC Sports Boston

If you believe continuity is a key component of success, there's reason to worry about the 2020 New England Patriots.

The Patriots obviously lost their superstar quarterback in Tom Brady, who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March. But Brady was far from alone in leaving New England this offseason.

According to ESPN's Field Yates, the Patriots have experienced the fourth-most roster turnover in the NFL this offseason, as their current roster features players who accounted for just 67.1 percent of the team's total snaps in 2019.

Put another way, the Patriots essentially lost one third (32.9 percent) of their total snaps from last season.

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Included in that loss were several mainstays on defense, from linebackers Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts to safety Duron Harmon to defensive tackle Danny Shelton. That also doesn't include the handful of assistant coaches who left the team, notably wide receivers/special teams coach Joe Judge and longtime offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.

Meanwhile, New England's top competitor in the AFC East is on the other end of the spectrum: The Buffalo Bills have had the least amount of roster turnover in the NFL, joining an impressive group that includes both Super Bowl LIV participants in the 49ers and Chiefs.

Before you crown the Bills as AFC East champions, the Patriots still have continuity where it matters most: Bill Belichick is entering his 21st season as Patriots coach and has established a highly successful organizational structure that has endured despite many roster overhauls.

Belichick hasn't had to coach a Patriots season without Brady, however, and Yates' stat highlights the challenge New England will face as Jarrett Stidham and other newcomers get thrust into more prominent roles.

What does this NFL roster stat say about Patriots' chances in AFC East? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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