The New England Patriots have limited options in the passing game, so it would be nice for them to be able to turn to the rushing attack to help alleviate some of the shortcomings.
That’s why Sunday night against the Detroit Lions had a chance to be rookie running back Sony Michel’s coming-out-party, but instead, it mostly served up a reminder that the first-round draft choice has some ground to make up to getting back to being an explosive playmaker after missing all of the preseason and the regular-season opener.
Michel played 23-of-48 offensive snaps, and had an overall underwhelming night as he was stopped on two different third-and-1 plays in the first half, and dropped a pass in the second half. The Patriots still stuck with him as their primary option in the second half, over the more experienced James White, who ended up seeing his playing time spike (25 snaps) at the end of the game when the Patriots were clearly in pass-first mode. Veteran running back Rex Burkhead (seven snaps) left the game in the third quarter with a neck injury and never returned.