With 298 yards and 4 touchdowns already, there is no denying that LeGarrette Blount is off to a very good start to the 2016 season. As good as he's been, can we stop with the "Mini Beast Mode" comparisons?
The game against the Texans was very fun to watch, and Blount did have a very good 41-yard touchdown run. Although the game was all but over, Blount's touchdown was the dagger for the Patriots in their 27-0 victory. It's easy to look at the numbers he has put up and jump right back on the "Blount Force Trauma" bandwagon, but I refuse.
Blount started Thursday night's game with 11 yards on 7 carries in the first half. That's an average of about 1.6 yards per carry, which is exactly how it feels when he runs the ball. A quick handoff then Blount runs into a wall of linemen for little to no gain. Over and over and over.
It makes sense for Brissett to continue to hand off to Blount because the gameplan was a lot more conservative than if it were Brady or Garoppolo. With that being said, how many 2nd and short opportunities did the Patriots have? It seemed like every time they handed off to Blount on 1st down, it always resulted in a 2nd & 9 or 2nd & 8.
If you look back on Blount's career as a Patriot, he has had some good games and he's made some good plays. The main argument would be his performance against the Colts in the 2014 AFC Championship game. I cannot deny that was a fantastic performance by Blount in a big situation, however take a look at the competition. That same run defense gave up over 200 yards to Jonas Gray, who doesn't even have a job anymore. The Colts have a subpar run defense, and that is being generous.
His other big game came against the Bills in 2013 when he ran for 189 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Patriots won that game 34-20 and it was never competitive. It also helped Blount that it was -50 degrees at night during that game and no one wants to tackle a 250 pound guy in that kind of weather. Did I mention they were playing the Bills?
Blount is very good at trucking people over when he finally builds up the momentum, but on every down runs he is almost unwatchable. Handing off to him on 1st down is almost a wasted play and a guarantee at a 2nd and long. The silver lining is he's the perfect guy to go to when you need to bleed the clock.
I don't think he's the worst running back in the league and he is obviously good enough to win a championship with. Since the Patriots favor the passing game, it's difficult to have a problem with him being on the team, let's just settle down with the high praise. If any team needed to rely on Blount for offensive production, they'd be in trouble.
By Matt Watts