New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady found a new weapon Saturday night.
Patriots running back Rex Burkhead had 10 touches in Brady’s 16 snaps during New England’s preseason matchup against the Houston Texans. Burkhead carried the ball seven times for 20 yards and caught three passes on three targets for 50 yards with a score while Brady went 6 of 9 for 67 yards with a touchdown.
The lesson from Saturday night: Even if you cover all of Brady’s receivers, he’ll still happily check it down to his talented running backs.
“I think that’s what makes a great offense, having a lot of versatility,” Brady told reporters Saturday night. “I’ve said for a long time, I throw where the guys are open. If they double someone, everyone else is singled across the board, so you’ve just got to be careful about who you double. If we’ve got the right play call against a certain defense, it’s tough to stop us.
“We were decent out there, obviously had quite a few mistakes we’ve got to clean up, but it’s a good defense. We’re going to see them quickly. We had a good week of practice against them. It was a lot of fun. … It will be a little bit different next time we play them.”
For starters, it’s unlikely Burkhead will touch the ball on 62.5 percent of Brady’s offensive snaps in Week 3 of the regular season when the Patriots and Texans meet up again. Maybe pick him up in fantasy just in case, though.
The Patriots certainly will feature wide receivers Julian Edelman (two targets), Brandin Cooks (one target) and Chris Hogan (one target) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (no targets) more in that game. Running back Mike Gillislee also could be back from a hamstring injury that currently is hampering him. Starting left tackle Nate Solder also could be back by the regular season.
So, Saturday night served as just a teaser for what opposing defenses will have to deal with when they face the Patriots in 2017. And after watching how he performed against the Texans, Burkhead won’t be overlooked.
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports Images
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