The Patriots have mixed and matched running backs all season and Week 17 found LeGarrette Blount taking the lead role in the backfield.
It worked out well for New England and for Blount. The Patriots beat the Bills 34-20 to clinch a first round bye in the playoffs and Blount was named the AFC offensive player of the week.
Blount ran for 189 yards on 24 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns to propel the Patriots to victory. The game capped a strong season for Blount, who averaged five yards a carry while gaining 772 yards on the ground. That’s far better than Jeff Demps, who was traded to Tampa for Blount during the offseason, was able to do in the one game he played for the Buccaneers after an extended period away from the team to pursue his track career and before landing on injured reserve.
Blount also could have been a reasonable choice as the special teamer of the week in the AFC. He returned kickoffs for 83 and 62 yards to set up a pair of Patriots scores in the second half.