Patriots RB corps a dynamic force

Tom Brady gets the lion's share of attention on offense for the Patriots, and justifiably so.

He'll be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day, and many, including Texans head coach Bill O'Brien, say Brady's the best quarterback ever.

But LeGarrette Blount and the Patriots run game have been incredibly impressive this season as well.

The bruising back rumbled for 1,161 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2016. As a team, the Patriots were seventh in the NFL in rushing yards per game with 117.

"Blount is a just a very, very big guy, but he's got really good athleticism," O'Brien said. "He's very difficult to tackle. He never stops his legs. He's always churning for extra yards. You have to square him up in the hole. You're not going to be able to get him down with a glancing blow from the side you know and he's really been a productive player for them."

When the Texans and Patriots met in Week 3, Blount went off for 105 yards on 24 carries, and a pair of scores.

But Blount's not the only running back who can do damage for New England.

"You have guys like Dion Lewis and James White who you know are totally different than LeGarrette Blount," O'Brien said. "The way that they use them whether it's in the passing game or even in the running game you know it's a very, very difficult challenge for us and it's a difficult challenge for anybody that goes against them because of that group of guys. They're all very good at what they do."

Lewis finished with 283 rushing yards this season, while White chipped in with 166. But White made his mark in the passing game, catching 60 balls for 551 yards and five touchdowns. Only receiver Julian Edelman caught more passes on the team than White.

"The backfield that they have now is very, very, very explosive," nose tackle Vince Wilfork said. "They're very dynamic when they're all in there. With those backs, you can be attacked all different type of ways." 

The Texans will practice on Wednesday and Thursday at the Houston Methodist Training Center, and then fly to New England on Friday. Kickoff is on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.

The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 2/24/2021)

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