New England Patriots: 4 player grades from Preseason Week 2

LINCOLN, NE - SEPTEMBER 5: Wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp
LINCOLN, NE - SEPTEMBER 5: Wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp /
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New England Patriots
HOUSTON, TX – AUGUST 19: Rex Burkhead (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

A. Seven rushes, 34 yards. Three receptions, 50 yards, one touchdown.. RB #34. New England Patriots. REX BURKHEAD

Rex Burkhead was named a player to watch heading into Saturday’s contest, and those who did were surely entertained. The former Cincinnati Bengal who signed with New England this March turned heads in both the receiving and blocking game.

Burkhead hauled in back-to-back first down grabs for 16 & 12-yards and followed with a 22-yard touchdown catch shortly after.

In pass protection, Burkhead did a good job recognizing a blitz by Texans linebacker Brian Cushing before he could reach the quarterback, Tom Brady.

Belichick spoke on Burkhead’s versatility after the game, saying:

"“We’ve worked with him in all areas of the game that we think he can contribute in, which is all three downs offensively and the four phases of special teams that he’s been involved with, from Day 1.”"

While projected starter Mike Gillislee recovers from a hamstring injury, Burkhead will continue to make a case for the top running back spot. After a strong showing versus Houston, his stock is on the rise.