Week 2 shows concerns with New England Patriots running game

Sep 17, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson
Sep 17, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

After a week two loss to the Miami Dolphins the New England Patriots have many issues that they need to figure out before heading to MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Jets. Going into week 3 for the Patriots, one of the main concerns is the running game or lack thereof. In the loss to the Dolphins, the Patriots team averaged 3.5 yards per carry and that was with the help of 25 yards coming from quarterback Mac Jones.

The lead back for the Patriots in Rhamondre Stevenson totaled 50 yards on 15 carries. His co-pilot, Ezekiel Elliot had 13 yards on five carries. Elliott was brought in for the Patriots to help bolster the run game as the Patriots looked to lean on the run game for this season. Between the two of them, they had 63 total yards on the ground versus a Dolphins team that just surrendered over 200 yards to the Los Angeles Chargers' running backs in a week one victory.

Truthfully this poor running display is less of an indictment on the running backs themselves and more of a concern with the Patriots offensive line. As many suspected, the Elliot signing might not make a difference if the offensive line is not up to par. During the preseason there were already concerns about the offensive line and how they would perform going forward.

In addition to the lack of push in the running game the offensive line surrendered four sacks to the Dolphins pass rush in week two. This came with the Dolphins missing their best young pass rusher for the entire game in Jaelan Phillips. In his first two season in the league Phillips has had over 15 sacks for the Dolphins.

Looking ahead the offensive line struggles could loom large for the Patriots versus a highly touted Jets defense in week three. In a week one overtime victory over the Buffalo Bills the Jets had 5 sacks on Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen. Hopefully the Patriots can get healthier over the week and keep Jones and the skill position guys upright better as we move on during the season.