New England Patriots team grades vs Pittsburgh Steelers Week 15
In last week’s loss to the Dolphins, the Patriots run game was nonexistent. They attempted only 10 rushes the whole game. This week against the Steelers, the Patriots remained more committed to the run game and it paid off.
The Patriots ran the ball 19 times, led by 13 from Dion Lewis. Lewis turned those 13 carries into 67 yards, an impressive 5.2 yards per carry. Lewis scored the game-winning touchdown with 56 remaining in the game on an eight-yard rush.
Rex Burkhead scored the other rushing touchdown for the Patriots in the first quarter. Burkhead ran the ball four times for 12 yards. The workload was so minimal for Burkhead because he injured his knee. Luckily for the Patriots, the injury is not believed to be serious, as Burkhead looks to have avoided an ACL tear or serious knee injury.
With Burkhead sidelined, the Patriots offensive game plan will have to be adjusted. Mike Gillislee could be activated again, but he does not bring the same skill set to the table that Burkhead does.
It will be worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks as the Patriots prep for another playoff appearance. However, it was encouraging to see them get back to the ground game a little bit against the Steelers.