When the Patriots lost Dion Lewis in the third quarter to an apparent leg injury, there was still just over five minutes to go and another full quarter still left to be played, which left New England forced to turn to the next player behind Lewis to step up.
With James White inactive, the Patriots turned the duties over to Brandon Bolden, who generally sees most of his duties come on special teams, but on Sunday he was called upon to handle the football in spots with Lewis out of the game.
Bolden started getting the call early in the fourth quarter and on his third play from scrimmage, the veteran running back caught a beautifully thrown pass from Tom Brady from 18 yards out for the touchdown, putting New England up 27-3 and essentially putting the game out of reach from a Washington Redskins team that was never really in the game to begin with.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said after the game that Bolden’s a reliable player and he wasn’t surprised with how he performed.
“Brandon did a good job for us,” said Belichick. “Brandon has got a lot of experience on this team in a number of different roles and he’s been through it all – running game, passing game, blitz pickup, special teams – multiple roles in that. He’s a smart guy. You can always count on him.”
Bolden was a key performer on Sunday, with Brady targeting him three times for three completions on third down including two first downs, one of which was Bolden’s touchdown, one of Brady’s two Red Zone completions.
With Lewis’ future now in question heading into this week against the Giants, Bolden’s presence is a reminder of how fortunate they are to have him on this football team. Belichick acknowledged that, and now Bolden may see some additional reps if Lewis is out for any period of time.
“He’s come through for us many times before like he did today, so that’s why he’s a valuable member of this team,” said Belichick. “We needed him and he stepped up for us.”
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary