Bill Belichick put all New England Patriots running backs on notice in October. So far, Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead and James White are accepted the challenge.
The Patriots compiled 191 rushing yards on Sunday on the heels of running for 196 yards in Week 12. New England’s two totals on the ground marked only the second time in the Belichick-Tom Brady era that the team rushed for 190-plus yards in consecutive games.
Similar to the Patriots defense, the team’s running game is ascending.
“It’s been a huge thing for our offense,” Brady said of the team’s run game, via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. “I don’t think you can just count on us dropping back 50-60 times to throw the ball. I think you really have to defend the running game and our play-action’s coming off that. We had a lot of big plays off play-action today.”
Against the Buffalo Bills, Lewis led the Patriots with 92 yards on the ground, Burkhead totaled 78 yards and White contributed through the air and carrying the football.
Lewis has emerged as New England’s top running back while Burkhead and White both have major roles in the offense.
The Patriots have won eight-straight games and the team’s running game seems to be getting better. That’s a frightening proposition for opposing teams.