FOXBORO — The New England Patriots’ running backs have gone through their fair share of ups and downs so far this season. With the injuries to the offensive line and fullbacks, they haven’t always been put in the best position to succeed.
Sony Michel has 482 rushing yards and six touchdowns through the first nine games of the season. He’s averaging approximately 20 yards less per game than he was last season, however he’s also looked less explosive. A lot of that can be attributed to James Develin being placed on injured reserve, since Michel often put his head down and followed Develin’s lead.
When you think of James White, you think about his success and involvement in the passing game. In fact, The Patriots’ most recent game against the Ravens was the first time this season that White had more rushing attempts than catches. White continues to be one of Tom Brady’s most reliable targets and his workload is expected to increase down the stretch.
Brandon Bolden is a player who has exceeded expectations so far this season. Everyone knows he’s a great asset on special teams, but he’s been used efficiently on offense as well and already has three touchdowns.
And then there’s Rex Burkehead. The Patriots (and Tom Brady) love this guy, as they should. He’s great at running through that first contact when he’s actually on the field, but that’s been the issue his entire career. If Burkehead can stay healthy, he’s a great third option at this position.
Sierra Goodwill, Alex Barth and Evan Lazar assign grades to the overall positional group.