FOXBORO, Mass. — LeGarrette Blount is in the midst of his best NFL season, but the New England Patriots running back will have his work cut out for him Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens.
Blount ranks first in rushing touchdowns, fifth in rushing yards and fourth in 20-plus-yard carries, which is unexpected for a 250-pound bruising running back. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady appreciates his deceptively fast running back.
“I think he’s had an incredible year just with productivity, rushing yards, touchdowns,” Brady said. “Every time we hand the ball off to him something great has happened. He has a lot of confidence in the guys up front and what they’re doing for him. You gotta have confidence in the offensive line when you’re a running back, because you’re taking that ball downhill with a full head of steam. You’ve gotta believe that the hole’s gonna open. He hits it hard.
“He’s just had an incredibly consistent year for us — from the start of the year all the way on to last week. We’re going to keep needing him. He’s been a big part of why we’ve been successful, whether it’s been in the run game, the pass game, blitz pickup, all those backs have really played well for us.”
Blount had 18 carries for 88 yards with a touchdown in Week 13 against the Los Angeles Rams, including a 43-yard carry on fourth-and-1 in the first quarter. It could be difficult for him to replicate that success against the Ravens, however.
The Ravens have allowed just 886 rushing yards, 3.4 yards per carry and four rushing touchdowns this season, ranking first in the NFL in all three categories. They haven’t played a running back like Blount yet, though, because there’s no one quite like him.
“A 250-pound running back is pretty tough to tackle,” Brady said. “Obviously when he gets away from people, they never really catch him. He’s got great speed and agility. They really don’t know how to tackle him. He’s jumped over guys, run over guys. He makes great decisions when he’s in the open field. He’s done a lot of great things.”
It also will be difficult for the Ravens to key in on Blount on Monday night because Brady is under center for the Patriots. Between the Ravens’ top-tier rushing defense and Blount’s spectacular season, something will have to give.
Blount needs just 43 yards to crack 1,000 for the first time since his rookie season. He needs only one rushing touchdown to tie Curtis Martin’s single-season franchise record of 14 scores.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
Powered by WordPress.com VIP