In Week 17, the New England Patriots were able to clinch the No.1 seed in the AFC. One of the big takeaways from the season is the emergence of Dion Lewis.
For the New England Patriots, the 2017 regular season has been another extremely successful one. They were able to secure the No.1 seed in the AFC with a win over the New York Jets, as they hold the tie-breaker over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Coming into this season, the Patriots had four running backs that were all figured to be involved in the offense this season. To start the season, it was Mike Gillislee who was the featured back for the Patriots.
After the departure of LeGarrette Blount, it was figured that Gillislee would be filling in his role. However, Gillislee was never able to get going as a runner this season, as he only had a few touchdowns in the beginning of the season.
With Gillislee struggling, the Patriots eventually turned to Dion Lewis. With James White being the primary receiver out of the running backs, and Rex Burkhead being their Swiss army knife, it was Lewis who ended up making the most of the opportunity.
Starting against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 5, Lewis began to make his mark on the Patriots’ offense. After rushing for over 50 yards in that game, Lewis went on to gain the trust of Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels as the primary running back for the Patriots.
Even though the Patriots have never been a run-first team in recent years, they have been very balanced this year, and that has certainly helped them this season. As we head into the playoffs, Lewis is playing at an elite level for the Patriots.
In his last two games, Lewis has totaled over 200 rushing yards, over 50 receiving yards, and four total touchdowns. Compared to last season, the Patriots are in a much better place with their rushing attack, as the rushing attack was not the same for the Patriots toward the end of last season.
With Lewis playing at an elite level, the Patriots will have a very good chance of repeating as AFC Champions. As the No.1 seed in the AFC, the Patriots will be the favorite, and they are in good shape to accomplish their goals with Lewis playing at a very high level.