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Howard has the proto-typical size of an NFL power back at 6’0, 230 and has a thick, powerful build. He has good vision and will follow his blockers to daylight and has decent lateral agility for a big man.
Jonathan Williams from Arkansas is a power back who fits the Patriots needs perfectly. Powerfully built at 5’11, 220, he has quick feet to avoid tacklers but is at his best when running north-south. Prior to his injury in August that caused him to miss the entire season, he had a very solid 2014 season. Running in the tough SEC, Williams averaged 91.5 yards per game and 5.6 yards per carry for the Razorbacks.
Dixon is not the biggest back at 5’10, 215 but he’s not afraid to and is effective running between the tackles. In his four years at La. Tech he had a combined 87 touchdowns, (72 rushing and 15 receiving) and is very effective after first contact. He averaged 3.3 yards after contact despite only averaging 1.7 before contact due to his being keyed on
Dion Lewis’ recovery following ACL surgery has been “encouraging.”
Given the injuries to the offensive line and then losing both starters (Dion Lewis, LaGarrette Blount) to IR during the season doomed the Pats running game in 2015. Truth be told, they ran the ball very poorly overall for most of the season and it was a major reason for their failure in the AFC Championship Game.
Blount’s numbers through 12 games, 165 carries, 703 yards for a 4.3-yard average and 6 touchdowns are decent enough considering he often had nowhere to run.
In Brady’s last 23 games with both Gronkowski and Edelman available the Patriots are 22-1. And in those games Brady has completed 67.3 percent of his passes for 7322 yards with 64 TDs, 13 INTs for a passer rating of 107.
In the earlier game, the Patriots tried to stress the Broncos linebackers by putting them in coverage. It was a match-up they didn’t fully realize but with Edelman back on the field, White is a weapon that they can bring to bear.
An even bigger factor of having Edelman back is teams can’t overload on covering Rob Gronkowski and he was extremely effective on Saturday with seven catches for 83 yards and two big touchdowns
Edelman can produce both inside and outside the numbers, he’s Tom Brady’s go-to guy in most third down situations when the need to move the chains. He brings that quick, short pass dynamic to the New England offense.
The final two minutes of the first half on Sunday was one of the more bizarre sequences we’ve seen in quite some time.
All eyes will be on Jackson to see what he has left in the tank and one particular area to focus on will be ball security. For a guy who hasn’t played all season, that will bear watching.
The two defenders in the area are sealed by Kline and Andrews allowing White a clear path between them. The defensive linemen don’t have the speed to catch White as he cuts back to the outside, avoids the tackle by Wesley Woodyard and gets two outstanding downfield blocks from LaFell and Amendola.
With a serviceable Jackson in the lineup, the Patriots can platoon him with the 245-pound Joey Iosefa inside with James White remaining free for obvious passing situations out of the backfield.
The X-Factor this week in the passing game is White; he’s been coming into his own in recent weeks in replacing Dion Lewis
|clutchpoints.com - Sep 18th, 2021|
|TheAthletic - Sep 18th, 2021|