Patriots backfield had a quiet Sunday in season opener

Is a quiet Sunday from the Patriots running backs a cause for concern?
Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots
Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

On Sunday, we all truly got a first look at what the Patriots offense will look like in 2023. Mac Jones shined in the season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Both Hunter Henry and Kendrick Bourne were Jones' favorite targets.

However, one part of the Patriots offense had a quiet day to start the season.

There are high expectations for the running backs this season, especially Rhamondre Stevenson. On top of that, fans were excited when the team officially added Ezekiel Elliott from the Dallas Cowboys. Stevenson and Elliott have the potential to be a one-two punch, but Sunday wasn't the day where the one-two punch happened.

Disaster struck early as Ezekiel Elliott fumbled the ball in the first quarter, which resulted in an Eagles recovery in which they turned the turnover into points as Jalen Hurts found DeVonta Smith in the end zone, putting the Eagles up 16-0. After that, it was mistake-free but limited football from Elliott. His final stat line was seven carries for 29 yards and five receptions for 14 yards. His longest run on the day was 11 yards.

Then there was Rhamondre Stevenson. In a year where he is expected to dominate, he did anything but that on Sunday. In fact, Stevenson had a better day as a receiver than coming out of the backfield. Yes, the Patriots' offense often throws screens, but Stevenson has proven he is also a threat from the backfield rather than a receiving running back. On the day, Stevenson had 12 carries for 25 yards and six receptions for 64 yards.

With all that being said, is it concerning that both running backs couldn't get anything going? No. Why isn't it a concern?

The offensive line. Yes, the offensive line did an excellent job protecting Mac Jones on Sunday, but the run game couldn't get going as the offensive line failed to open up any lanes for Elliott or Stevenson to run through.

Also, it's only week one. There's no need to be concerned about the Patriots. After all, many analysts wrote them off yesterday and the Patriots only lost by five, in a game where some thought the Patriots would struggle.