This Rhamondre Stevenson run is more evidence he may steal starting RB job

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 28: Rhamondre Stevenson #38 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 28: Rhamondre Stevenson #38 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots are reaping the rewards of what may be the best 2021 NFL Draft class during their six-game winning streak.

In addition to Mac Jones looking like a franchise quarterback and Christian Barmore dominating on defense, Rhamondre Stevenson has been a revelation at the running back spot.

Damien Harris may have come into the season as the unquestioned starter, but Stevenson has played so well over the last few weeks that Bill Belichick has had to use a committee approach to ensure Stevenson got his fair share of touches. So far, the results have been spectacular.

Stevenson has run for at least 60 yards in three straight games, all of which were New England wins. While he only mustered nine carries for 46 yards in a win against the Tennessee Titans, Stevenson’s penchant for highlight-reel runs once again helped the Patriots seal a victory.

On a fourth-quarter run, Stevenson broke three tackles to pick up the first down. He then lowered his helmet into the chest of Janoris Jenkins and drive another five yards downfield before a linebacker had to leap on his back and finally bring him down.

Belichick needs to give him a starter workload as soon as possible.

The New England Patriots must lean on Rhamondre Stevenson.

Due to concerns about a suspension in college, spotty production, and fluctuations in his playing weight, Stevenson managed to slide to the fourth round. Belichick outsmarted the rest of the league and capitalized on the opportunity, which turned out to be a perfect fit for this run-first offense.

Belichick seems committed to using a hot-hand approach for this backfield. Harris led the team with 22 snaps, though Stevenson was right behind with 20 and veteran Brandon Bolden had 19. Stevenson has only been on the field for over 50% of snaps once this season.

That game just happened to be his 100-yard, two-touchdown day against Cleveland.

Belichick has always had a thing for oversized one-cut running backs. The likes of Antowain Smith, Corey Dillon, and LeGarrette Blount have all found success under Belichick in New England. Not only does Stevenson have the size needed to put himself in that exclusive tier, but he’s shown great contact balance and surprising speed.

Harris has been playing well for most of this season, which would make it tough to bench him to let Stevenson be the main man. However, if No. 38 keeps flattening defenders as he did against Tennessee, Belichick may not have a choice.