Originally posted by Ullr
I don't understand where this myth that the Pats have zero running game whatsoever comes from.
They are currently 8th in the league in yards per game and tied with Pittsburgh at 4.1 yards per carry.
I think the Patriots running game is something to be worried about as long as Maroney keeps coming to a stop and stands upright at the line of scrimmage while trying to decide which way to move laterally to free himself for some yardage. Sometimes you just have to bust it up in there and make physical contact and churn away, something Maroney has been hesitant to do. He too often tries to dance away from the way the play was designed. I can't help thinking that if he played for Mike Shanahan, he wouldn't be playing for Mike Shanahan, if you catch my drift.
Most of the Patriots effective yardage was gained early in the year with the slam-banging Sammy Morris who knew how to run north-south. Morris had some nice yardage and averages and new how to move the pile with these numbers from weeks 1 thru 5.
11-54, 4.9 vs Jets
10-51, 5.1 vs Chargers
12-46, 3.8 vs Bills
21-117, 5.6 vs Bengals
21-102, 4.9 vs Browns
Then Morris got injured and Maroney was back as the featured back, but he looked a lot smaller to me. They list Maroney at 220 and Faulk at 202, and Maroney looks smaller than Faulk to me, but I need some more side by side comparison to really tell. Anyway, after seeing nice numbers from Morris early in the year, let's compare to Maroney's numbers the last three weeks...
6-19, 3.2 vs Bills
10-31, 3.1 vs Eagles
13-44, 3.4 vs Ravens
Yuck! Maroney hasn't cracked 100 yards in the last three weeks combined
. I realize that the Ravens are always tough to run against, and that Eagles were playing out of their minds, but there's no excuse to be that low against the bills. I'm not saying the wheels have come off the Patriots running game, but I think pats fans should be a bit concerned... but maybe there is a solution?
Like, start giving the ball to the other running backs more often? If you look at the games over the last three weeks where the other running backs had significant carries, they are outperforming Maroney.
10-40, 4.0 vs Buffalo
10-56, 5.6 vs Buffalo
7-33, 4.7 vs Baltimore
Maybe Maroney is still suffering a bit from his groin injury. Maybe he lost too much weight over the off-season and didn't work hard enough sustaining his muscle mass and he's running too light. I don't know. I don't think we're going to see very good running numbers against the Steelers this week no matter who the Patriots use, but I hope to see the supporting running backs get more carries per game in the coming weeks. Just some of my worried thoughts heading into the running-back months of December and January.