FOXBORO, Mass. — Rhamondre Stevenson hasn’t been bad for the Patriots so far this season. Overall, he’s pleased with the way he’s played.

But the third-year running back has yet to enjoy his first real breakout performance of the 2023 campaign, and he believes one change can get him there.

“I looked back at (Sunday’s win over the New York Jets),” Stevenson said after Wednesday’s Patriots practice at Gillette Stadium. “I think we played well, we played hard. It wasn’t much yards there, but it was tough yards, and I appreciate those yards — I love those yards.

“I felt like I had a pretty good game. I think I need to get back to making people miss and breaking more tackles.”

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That ability to juke around and run through would-be tacklers has been a hallmark of Stevenson’s game dating back to his college career at Oklahoma. Among the 45 NFL running backs who logged at least 100 carries last season, he ranked first in yards after contact per attempt (3.81), per Pro Football Focus. His 40 missed tackles forced ranked 18th.

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So far this season, Stevenson is averaging just 1.80 yards after contact per carry — dead last out of 37 backs with 25-plus rushing attempts. He’s managed 2.9 yards per carry overall, good for 41st out of 48 qualified rushers.

Against the Jets on Sunday, Stevenson carried 19 times for 59 yards. His running mate, Ezekiel Elliott, had 80 yards on 16 attempts and shouldered much of the rushing load after halftime.

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Stevenson doesn’t view this as a major problem. Three games is a small sample size, and the Patriots’ offensive line struggled to run-block effectively in two of them.

“I don’t think it’s lacking at all,” Stevenson said of his trademark elusiveness. “… (But) I didn’t break a couple tackles I think I should have last week.”

Head coach Bill Belichick said Stevenson’s vision — finding the proper holes and cutback lanes — hasn’t been an issue.

“I think Rhamondre reads blocks really well — probably as good as anybody we’ve had here,” Belichick said Monday. “He’s got really good vision. He can find space in the defense, and he’s very good at lateral cuts and getting downhill and running with power.”

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As for how he’s doing health-wise, Stevenson said he feels “like Rhamondre, 100%.”

“I know who I am,” he said. “I know what I can do. So just going back to the basics, just doing what I did to get myself here to this point. So nothing really I need to do extra or anything like that. Just get back to my game.”

He’ll have a chance to this Sunday against a Dallas Cowboys defense that allowed 222 rushing yards and 7.4 yards per carry last week in an upset loss to the Arizona Cardinals. With the Patriots’ passing game still a work in progress, successfully pounding the rock with Stevenson and ex-Cowboy Elliott is their clearest path to a Week 4 victory.

Despite Stevenson’s struggles, New England is coming off its best rushing performance of the young season. Its 157 yards against New York nearly equaled its total from Weeks 1 and 2 combined.

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“We played three games total,” Stevenson said. “We’ve got to progress. It would be great to start out hot and just start out very confident, but I like the hard yards I’ve been getting. I haven’t really been missing any holes; it’s just been tough yards.

“I’m happy with the way I’m running right now. Just need to make more happen.”

Featured image via Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports Images