Patriots: 5 players who must step up in Week 14

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Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

2. LeGarrette Blount

This is less about Blount needing to step up, and more about the Patriots needing to be more willing to utilize the power back in the offense. The Patriots did a good job of getting Blount going early in Week 13, but Brady ended up throwing the ball 56 times over the course of the game. While that can be attributed to the Patriots’ playing from behind for the majority of the second half, they wouldn’t have been in that position had they committed to Blount early in the game.

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I’m probably in the minority here, but I sincerely believe that Blount is a top-ten running back in the NFL. He packs a punch at 247 pounds, barely ever getting stopped immediately in his tracks by defenders. In addition, he has surprising nimbleness and change-of-direction ability. Blount is the complete package, and the Patriots must use him more.

Think back to the 2014 AFC Championship (the Deflategate game) when Blount rushed for 148 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries. That yardage took a huge weight off Brady’s back. Against a fierce Houston pass rush on Sunday night, the Patriots must give Brady all they help they can. Feed Blount, they must.

Next: 1. Chandler Jones