The New England Patriots are firing on all cylinders, and opposing defenses look overwhelmed trying to stop the best offense in the league. They are currently one of four remaining teams in the NFL that are undefeated, and they have been winning by the leagues highest average margin at 16.6 points per game.
We knew that Tom Brady was going to put the league on notice, but we should focus on another major player that none of us were even aware of going into the season; his name is Dion Lewis.
Lewis, formerly a record-breaking running back from the University of Pittsburgh, has transformed this offense into a complex, multifunctional, and fast paced machine that simply cannot be stopped. He is a versatile weapon in the backfield that has unbelievable hands, but can also run between the tackles if called upon. He has the dynamic ability to make multiple defenders miss, keeping the opposing secondary’s alert. He is the talent that the Patriots were missing.
Let’s take a look at the first seven games they have played. He missed one game due to an abdominal injury, but through the other six games, Lewis has obtained 569 total yards, 349 of which were receiving. He has also been responsible for 29 total first downs, only one shy of Julian Edelman. Clearly he has built a rapport with Tom Brady, and is a major contributor to the passing and running attack. Bill Belichick can trust him in various situation and isn’t afraid to go to him if they need a play.
New England has a history of allowing multifunctional running backs to prosper. Following the likes of Kevin Faulk and Shane Vereen, Dion Lewis is in an offensive system that will show off his diverse skill set. He can run, catch, and even block long enough for Brady to find his target. His ability to block has to be his most important asset, considering whom he has to protect. He has fit nicely into the Patriots game plan and has repeatedly shown how valuable he can be for the team.
As much as he has proven that he can be dangerous with the ball in his hands, he has had some trouble holding on to it. He is responsible for two out of the three total fumbles the Patriots committed this season. Don’t get me wrong, he is no Melvin Gordon, but let’s be aware that one turnover can cost you an entire game. This, however, is a minor issue and can easily be solved with some adjustments.
It is safe to expect big things from Lewis this year. He is an important part of this offense, and, if he can stay healthy, he will show why he was so dominant in college.
BOLD PREDICTION: Dion Lewis will break the record for most receiving touchdowns by a running back with 10 touchdowns this year. He is that special and is a key component to the Patriots overall goal of going 19-0.