Why it took so long for Patriots to get screen game going this season

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The Patriots offense has relied heavily on screen plays over the years, but it was something that wasn't clicking at the start of the season.

But, seemingly like everything else with the team, beginning in Week 7 things started to change.

Over the first six games of the season, the Patriots averaged 15 yards per game on screen plays and over the last six games, they have averaged 32.2 yards per game on screen plays (via Pro Football Focus). So, they have nearly doubled their output and the 32.2 yards per game includes having zero yards against the Chargers, so it has been even better than that.

Speaking after Sunday's game, in which the Patriots went 3-for-3 passing for 44 yards on screens, David Andrews gave a good explanation for why it took so long to get going.

“They changed the rule this year with linemen cutting in space, right? That was a big thing," he said. "It took us a little bit to adjust to because you could go out there and just really throw a cut, either get the guy down or he jumps around you. You’re usually blocking a lot more athletic people when you're out there. That was a rule change and that was different for us because since I have been here with Scar (Dante Scarnecchia) -- for as long as I have -- and that was engrained to us. You go out there on a screen, you better throw a cut because if you didn’t there would be hell to pay maybe.

"So that was different and it took us a little while to fix. We put a lot of work into it with the backs and us. Screens can be big plays or they could be disastrous at times. We worked hard to get these screens going.”

Much like the Patriots offense is starting to click, so has the screen game.

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