FOXBORO, Mass. — It was a running back resurgence in Gillette Stadium on Sunday as the New England Patriots trampled the Las Vegas Raiders in a 36-20 win.
Here’s who helped the Patriots most in the Week 3 victory:
RB SONY MICHEL
Coming into Sunday’s game, Michel’s longest career run was for 33 yards. He had 38- and 48-yarders as he carried the ball only nine times for 117 yards. He also caught two passes for 23 yards.
Hold off on crowning Damien Harris as the Patriots’ bellcow running back as he’s eligible to return off of injured reserve next week. Michel showed a spark that hadn’t previously been ignited since the 2018 postseason.
RB REX BURKHEAD
Burkhead got into the end zone three times as he carried the ball six times for 49 yards and caught seven passes for 49 yards. He scored on an 11-yard catch when he juked Raiders safety Johnathan Abrams all the way to Route 1. He also had 5- and 2-yard touchdown runs.
Don’t bother asking which running back you should start in fantasy. Rookie J.J. Taylor also looked good Sunday, and James White was inactive for personal reasons.
The answer is probably to start none of them.
C JOE THUNEY
You’re reading that correctly. CENTER Joe Thuney. He moved from left guard with starting center David Andrews on injured reserve. The Patriots’ offensive line was no worse for wear as they ran 38 times for 250 yards with a touchdown.
FS DEVIN MCCOURTY
The Patriots held Raiders tight end Darren Waller to two catches on four targets for 9 yards as they deployed their entire secondary to stop him. McCourty was one of the few defenders who didn’t play a major part in covering Waller, but he did come over to break up two targets intended for the 6-foot-6 tight end when Jason McCourty and Jonathan Jones were in coverage.
Kyle Dugger, Jason McCourty and Joejuan Williams drew Waller most often. Safety Adrian Phillips and cornerbacks Jonathan Jones, Stephon Gilmore and JC Jackson also took on the talented pass-catcher.
OLB CHASE WINOVICH
Winovich strip-sacked Raiders quarterback Derek Carr early in the third quarter. The fumble was recovered by defensive tackle Lawrence Guy for a Patriots takeaway.
DE DEATRICH WISE
Shilique Calhoun and Deatrich Wise also strip-sacked Carr in the end zone. Wise recovered the ball for the strip and score.