The Patriots’ pair of running backs might need to level up Sunday if New England wants to leave Lambeau Field with a victory.
Bill Belichick’s team very likely will be hard-pressed to get the passing game going against the Green Bay Packers. The Patriots’ aerial attack wasn’t very impressive in the first three weeks of the season, and now backup quarterback Brian Hoyer needs to fill in for the injured Mac Jones. Hoyer also won’t have New England’s most consistent wide receiver at his disposal, as Jakobi Meyers is set to miss his second consecutive game.
As such, the onus could fall on Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson to power the Patriots’ offense. ESPN’s Mike Reiss, for one, believes the backfield tandem will rise to the occasion.
“Patriots running backs Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson will come close to totaling 200 rushing yards between them,” Reiss wrote. “This will have to be the formula for New England to have a chance to pull the upset. The Packers have shown some vulnerability against the run, with the Bears totaling 180 yards on 27 carries in Week 2, and the Vikings with 126 yards on 28 carries in Week 1. But here’s a potential problem for New England: With (Aaron) Rodgers completing 75% of his passes in back-to-back games, the possibility of falling behind early could make the Patriots more one-dimensional than they desire.”
If NFL bettors are confident in Reiss’ prediction coming to fruition, they might want to head to their sportsbook. Harris is a -120 bet at DraftKings Sportsbook to eclipse 49.5 rushing yards, while Stevenson has a -115 number on the Over 44.5.
The 1-2 Patriots and the 2-1 Packers are set to kick off at 4:25 p.m. ET.