The Patriots coaching staff, particularly Bill Belichick, has gotten plenty of credit for getting the team through three quarters of Tom Brady’s suspension without a loss.
But they wouldn’t have been able to do it without LeGarrette Blount.
The veteran running back’s actually leading the NFL with 298 rushing yards, and particularly in the last two games, has shown he can still be the kind of bell-cow back a team needs when there’s uncertainty at quarterback.
“I know what people say, but you still have to be able to run the football in this league,” Blount told Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. “When it’s an obvious run situation, and a lot of teams know it’s an obvious run situation, you’ve got to be able to run the football. Some of our runs have come on missed tackles and bad run reads on the defensive side, but if you do everything right, like we’ve been doing, you’re going to get a couple of good plays.”
He’s had more than a couple. He’s gone for over 100 yards each of the last two weeks, carrying the load when Jimmy Garoppolo injured his shoulder midway through the Dolphins game and then when Jacoby Brissett started last week against the Texans. For a guy who was no lock to make the roster out of training camp, that’s pretty impressive.
“I didn’t know. I just did whatever they told me to do and made sure I stayed prepared,” Blount said. “I just did everything I could to make sure I stayed ready for the moment. Whenever my number is called, I just go out there and make the best of an opportunity, and do whatever the team needs to make us win.”
That’s meant being ready to carry the ball, a lot, with 20 or more carries in each of the first three games. And without knowing who will be under center this week against the Bills, it’s reasonable to assume that streak will continue.