People often say that a franchise left tackle is among the top cornerstone positions in the NFL. When it comes to the New England Patriots, Nate Solder has done pretty well to fill that role. He still could be better, though, and must be on his game next Monday night against the Carolina Panthers.
Solder’s play has been inconsistent as of late. His struggles have showed up in the area that he was drafted to excel in — pass protection. Solder gave up at least one sack last week, and that was against Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel. Keisel is more of an interior defensive lineman which is not good because that means that Keisel is not a pure pass rusher.
Solder is going to go up against some serious pass rushers next Monday. Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson arguably form one of the best pass rushing duos in the league. And let’s not get too concerned with sides either. Hardy and Johnson are often rotated in games and are both equally dangerous.
If the matchups mean anything, Solder might get destroyed in pass protection. That would leave Tom Brady under constant fire which isn’t good because of Brady’s inconsistent performance so far this season.
And if trends are as important as matchups then Solder is set to struggle in that department as well. He and his fellow offensive linemen have struggled against more skilled defensive linemen which have mostly happened in the two games that the Patriots have lost.
Solder simply has to step up and play to his potential Monday night or this could be loss No. 3 for the Patriots.