Dion Lewis is on pace to total 1,400 yards from scrimmage


Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

It’s true. New England Patriots running back Dion Lewis is currently on pace to tally 1,400 yards from scrimmage this season.

Let’s take a step back for a second. It wasn’t very long ago that people were questioning the Patriots’ backfield situation. After all, Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen had departed over the offseason and the Pats slashed Jonas Gray in a surprising training camp cut just before Week 1, a game in which the Pats were to be without the suspended LeGarrette Blount.

With good reason, many wondered how exactly the Patriots were going to use their running backs in Week 1 and beyond. The thought of James White taking-on a major role wasn’t very re-assuring.

And then came along Dion Lewis, who the Pats who the Pats signed to a reserve/future contract last New Year’s Eve along with defensive tackle Antonio Johnson and linebacker Rufus Johnson. At the beginning of training camp this summer, pretty much nobody had Lewis squeaking on to the 53-man roster. And nobody projected him as the Week 1 starter.

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Who is Dion Lewis?    

Since bursting on to the scene against the Pittsburgh Steelers on opening night, Lewis has become not just a fan favorite, but also a Bill Belichick favorite. When Lewis committed a few fumbles in the first few weeks of the season, Belichick deviated from his usual axing approach with turnover-prone running backs and continued to give Lewis touches, indicating how highly he thinks of the Pitt product.

Through six games (Lewis missed the Jets game due to an abdomen injury), the 5-foot-8 back has accumulated 220 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns on 45 carries. He’s also caught 32 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns. Here are some interesting tidbits about Lewis’ stat line thus far:

  • His yards per carry average is tied for eighth-best among qualified players. That’s impressive.
  • Tom Brady has targeted Lewis 45 times. The only running backs who have been thrown to more are Danny Woodhead, Devonta Freeman and Theo Riddick.
  • Half of Lewis’ receptions have translated into first downs. When Brady checks-down to Lewis, it’s likely that he will reach the chains.
  • His 198 yards after the catch rank 26th among all players.
  • Between rushing and receiving, Lewis is averaging just under 95 yards per game.

This article stems from that last fact. As of this writing, Lewis has 569 yards from scrimmage; when you divide that figure by the number of games Lewis has played, six, you get an average of 94.83 yards per game, to be exact. Barring injury, Lewis will play a total of 15 regular season games this year. 94.83 multiplied by 15 gives a total of 1,422.5 total yards from scrimmage.

Next: Week 9 AFC Power Rankings: MNF Update

So there you have it. Lewis is on pace to record one of the best statistical seasons for a Patriots’ running back in recent memory.