Menu - The Hub For New England Patriots Fans

New England Patriots > Patriots Blog

Short-Yardage Remains a Work In Progress For Gillislee

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
October 30, 2017 at 5:30 am ET

Short-Yardage Remains a Work In Progress For Gillislee(PHOTO: Robert Deutsch - USA TODAY Sports)
Posted: Oct 30, 2017 05:30
🕑 Read Time: 3 minutes

Newcomer Mike Gillislee is still growing in New England’s offense, but he’s got one growing pain that still seemingly remains a challenge for him.

For whatever reason, facing 3rd-and-1 hasn’t quite been an automatic for this group of running backs so far this season, with Gillislee’s name standing out on the stat sheet.

Gillislee has been the running back who has struggled the most this season, with the running back having carried 6 times for 6 -yards on 3rd-and-1, while converting just half of his attempts. The Patriots faced 3rd-and-1 three times on Sunday, with Gillislee’s number being called on two of those attempts.

Gillislee picked up one of them, but he was stopped for no gain on another and it forced them to go for it on fourth down. The good news is, they went back to him on that attempt and thanks to a terrific block by James Develin, Gillislee picked up eight yards on the play.

However, that was only Gillislee’s first successful fourth-down attempt. He had previously been stopped for no gain on two other rushes on 4th-and-1.

Meanwhile, Tom Brady had the other 3rd-and-1 attempt Sunday, picking up two yards to move the chains.

Patriots Carries on 3rd-and-1 Through Week 8:

Overall on 3rd-and-1 this season, he’s been stopped for a loss once, and for no gain twice, making him 3-of-6 on the year.  His carry for a loss came down on the goal line last week against Atlanta.

James White has just one attempt, which was also for no gain.

Patriots Carries From the 1yd Line Through Week 8:

Taking another look where picking up a yard has been an issue, down on the goal line has also been a struggle for Gillislee.  He’s had four total attempts and was stopped for a loss once (his carry last week) and stopped for no gain twice, with one successful carry for a touchdown.  Dion Lewis has one attempt on the goal line, which saw him score against against the Jets.

Patriots Carries Through Week 8:

Through eight games he has 21 carries this season where he’s failed to pick up a yard, with seven carries for a loss and fourteen for no gain.  But that total is out of 98 carries, which to provide some context there, he’s actually gotten better.  Fourteen of those came over the first four games, while only 7 of those have happened in the last four.

For a comparison, here’s a look at the Patriots rushing totals through Week 8 of last season:

2016 Patriots Rushing Chart Through Week 8:

LeGarrette Blount, was stopped for a loss or no gain 35 times at this point last season, but he also had 44 carries of at least 1-2 yards, which is significantly higher than Gillislee’s 19. He also had 14 rushes of over 10 yards, which includes two of 20+ and one of over 40. Gillislee has yet to break one off a big run of 20+. Lewis is the only player to do that this season, having gained over 20 on one (a 25-yard gain against Atlanta) and another over 30 (a 31-yard run against the Buccaneers).

But the bigger issue is the situational carries where Gillislee hasn’t quite reached a point where he can be counted on to pick up a yard when the team needs it most.  With the Patriots’ offense still trying to find some consistency thanks to injuries, they’re going to need players to move the chains and to get into the end zone when the opportunity presents itself.

Needless to say, Gillislee obviously factors into that equation and it’s a weakness that hopefully he’ll improve on as he continues establishing his role in New England’s ground game. For now, it remains something to watch over the final half of the season.

Patriots  Week 8 Report Card, Lack of Finish In Win Over the Chargers

About Ian Logue

Ian Logue is a Seacoast native and owner and senior writer for, an independent media site covering the New England Patriots and has been running this site in one form or another since 1997.

Posted Under: Uncategorized
Tags: 2017 Patriots Season Dion Lewis James White Mike Gillislee Tom Brady

  • Comments are closed.

  • More Patriots News Headlines:

    Patriots News 2-25, “The Dynasty” Left Much Out, Matthew Slater

    Patriots News 2-25, “The Dynasty” Left Much Out, Matthew Slater

    By: Steve Balestrieri
    “Matthew Slater deserves every accolade someone could receive. He added that Slater was the “best core special teams player in NFL history.”
    14 hours ago
    Mayo Sets Groundwork, Offers More Transparency With New Staff

    Mayo Sets Groundwork, Offers More Transparency With New Staff

    By: Ian Logue
    With the Patriots turning the page in what is now a post-Bill Belichick era, one emphasis appears to be clear. It looks like there will…
    3 days ago
    Patriots Slater Calling It Quits After 16 Seasons

    Patriots Slater Calling It Quits After 16 Seasons

    By: Ian Logue
    There's no question that things will look different on the field for the New England Patriots in 2024, but there will be one notable absence…
    5 days ago
    Patriots News 2-18, The Draft, Free Agency, and “The Dynasty”

    Patriots News 2-18, The Draft, Free Agency, and “The Dynasty”

    By: Steve Balestrieri
    Maye has a prototypical build for a QB at 6’4, 229, possesses a cannon for an arm, and has above-average athleticism, 9 rushing TDs in…
    1 week ago
    MORSE: The Young Guns Patriots New Defensive Coaches

    MORSE: The Young Guns Patriots New Defensive Coaches

    By: Mark Morse
    Before breaking into the NFL, Montgomery worked in several college programs, mostly bouncing around Iowa.
    1 week ago

    Share via
    Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap
    Search For Links: - CLOSE
    For searches with multiple players
    add commas (Ex: "Bill Belichick, Devin McCourty")