New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount is continuing his dream season, and the Patriots are better off because of it.
How important is LeGarrette Blount to the success of the New England Patriots? Well, he is proving to be the 2016 version of 2001 Antowain Smith and 2004 Corey Dillon, a straight-line power back who is taking a bunch of pressure off of Tom Brady.
To put it in perspective, Blount ran for 127 yards and two scores on Sunday; Brady threw for 222 yards and two touchdowns. It’s that kind of balance that is going to sustain the Patriots into January and beyond.
After seven games, Blount’s stat line reads as follows: 566 rushing yards, 4.0 yards per carry and eight touchdowns. In addition to passing his career high in touchdowns in Week 7, Blount also matched his 2015 reception total of six catches. So we’re even seeing Blount making an impact in the aerial attack, which is impressive considering the sheer number of threats the Patriots have catching the ball.
Blount is on pace to set career highs across the board: 1,293 yards and 18 touchdowns. In other words, if Blount keeps this up, he will reward fantasy football owners in full for starting him week in and week out.
Again, think back to Smith in 2001 and Dillon in 2004. In 2001, Smith’s 1,157 yards and 12 touchdowns balanced the offensive attack, easing the pressure off a young Brady. Three short years later, Dillon ripped off an historic 1,635 yards and 12 touchdowns as well. It is no coincidence that the Patriots won the Super Bowl in both of those seasons.
It just makes covering the full allotment of New England receiving targets that much harder to account for when there is the constant threat of Blount battering up the middle for six, seven yards on first down. Mark these words: Blount will be a key to the overall success of this 2016 Patriots team with the way he is running the football right now.