New England Patriots bye week: examining the running backs

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James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the second edition of Bye Week Boredom here at Musket Fire. To help pass the time until the New England Patriots play again in Week 5, we’re doing a daily breakdown of each position group. Yesterday, we looked at Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo. Today, we’re taking a gander at the running backs.

Dion Lewis

Aside from the two fumbles he has committed, Lewis has been the most pleasant surprise on offense for the Pats in the young season. His statistics through three games include a nice 4.9 yards per carry average, 146 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.

Lewis has been just as valuable, if not more, in the passing game. He’s third on the team with 15 receptions for 179 yards and seven first downs. In other words, Lewis has been everything the Patriots could ask for and more as Shane Vereen’s replacement.

Related: 10 things we liked about the Pats in Week 3

At just 5-foot-8, 195 pounds, Lewis isn’t going to bull over any linebackers in the NFL. But he makes up for his slight frame with unreal quickness, strong plants and his slippery finishes to runs. Just when you think the defense has Lewis bottled-up, he squeezes in-between tacklers for another yard.

Mark these words: the Patriots will continue to use Lewis as an integral part of their offensive attack. He may be small, but Lewis has the endurance to receive a share of the rushing workload, and he also has the competency as a receiver to be one of Tom Brady’s favorite weapons in the flat.

If nothing else, Lewis is one of the most entertaining players to watch in the open field.

Next: LeGarrette Blount