New England Patriots Bye Week Review: Four Things We’ve Learned Through Week Four

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Sep 27, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back Dion Lewis (33) carries the ball in the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium. New England defeated Jacksonville 51-17. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Without lead running back LeGarrette Blount for week one against Pittsburgh due to suspension, the conventional wisdom in training camp was that backup Jonas Gray would handle the load against the Pittsburgh Steelers and potentially carve out a key role. As usual, Bill Belichick threw conventional wisdom right out the window.

Sep 27, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (29) drives the ball for a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second half at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the the Jacksonville Jaguars 51-17. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Gray was released as part of the final cuts and with veteran running back Travaris Cadet missing most of camp, it was Dion Lewis lining up as the lead back. All Lewis did in his first game action since December 2012 was rush for 69 yards and catch 4 passes for 51 yards versus the Steelers. He had 40 yards rushing and a touchdown in week two with 6 catches for 98 yards. Last week he rushed for 37 yards and a touchdown and had another 5 catches for 30 yards in the first half against Jacksonville.

With Lewis carving out the lead passing back role, Cadet was deemed expendable and released this week while Blount broke out with 18 rushes for 78 yards and 3 touchdowns. Granted, it was against Jacksonville but seeing Blount running hard and pounding the ball into the end zone was a welcome sight for the running game.

After two weeks there were many questions as Lewis was the entire offense. With Blount back to normal and Lewis filling the Kevin Faulk/Danny Woodhead/Shane Vereen role suddenly the running back situation does not look as bleak as it did after the Buffalo game in week two when Brady dropped back to pass 61 times.

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