New England Patriots: 5 Reasons Why They Will Win Super Bowl 51
By Nick Ziegler
4.) Improved Running Game
As mentioned in the previous slide, the rushing attack for the Patriots has improved immensely since last season. In 2016, the Patriots rank seventh in the NFL in total team rushing yards, which is a huge jump from 2015 when they ranked 30th.
Even though the suspension of Brady was not taken well in New England, it did lead to the rediscovery of their running game. The main reason for the improved ground game has been the great season from LeGarrette Blount. This season, Blount has totaled 1,161 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. Both of these numbers are career-highs for Blount. Also, the 18 rushing touchdowns set a new Patriots record, which was previously held by Curtis Martin.
At times in recent years, the Patriots have been too pass-happy. With Brady and other talented weapons on offense, this was understandable. Now, the Patriots have a deadly attack on offense with both strong running and passing attacks.
The balance of the Patriots’ offense has caused a lot of problems for defensive coordinators this season, and expect to see that continue in the playoffs. With Blount running behind a solid offensive line, the Patriots are going to be able to close out games with ease in the playoffs.