Aug 13, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back Jonas Gray (35) breaks away to run the ball for a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers during the first half in a preseason NFL football game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
The Patriots rushed for 94 yards on 18 carries against the Packers. Jonas Gray accounted for 74 of those yards on seven carries, but 55 came on one run. Showing improved speed, Gray following rookie guard Shaq Mason pulling from left guard and fullback James Develin who threw a key block on Micah Hyde to open space for Gray to rumble to the end zone.
Expected contributors LeGarrette Blount, Travaris Cadet, Dion Lewis and Brandon Bolden did not play against the Packers. James White–who had just nine rushing attempts in 2014 as a rookie–had eight rushes but gained just 12 yards. However, in rushing for 12 yards the second year back had 13 yards after contact, showing that the defenders for the Packers were overwhelming the New England blockers and getting to White in the backfield.
Aug 13, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Darryl Roberts (28) is tackled by Green Bay Packers cornerback Ladarius Gunter (36) during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Shaq Mason showed his strong blocking skills from playing in a rushing-only offense at Georgia Tech and left tackle Chris Barker was solid at the line showing good strength. Right guard Cameron Fleming–who was a beast in the running game as a rookie–seemed overpowered at times on running plays. Backup tight end Jimmay Mundine struggled as a blocker as the fringe roster player just could not stay strong and keep defenders out of the backfield.
Next: Offense Overall