Last year, we watched running back James White pass New England Patriots Hall of Famer Kevin Faulk for the most single-season receptions by a running back under head coach Bill Belichick. White now has another record in his sights against the Houston Texans.
White now has 116 regular season receptions for 1,099 yards after two games into his fourth NFL season. Both of those marks rank third in Patriots history for running backs in their first four years in the NFL. White’s 9 receiving touchdowns already rank first in franchise history over a running back’s first four seasons.
White trails Kevin Faulk (130 receptions) and Curtis Martin (117) in the rankings. Martin only played three years in New England, though, which puts his ranking in context. Faulk’s record is firmly in White’s sights and it wouldn’t be a shock if White broke Faulk’s record against the Carolina Panthers in week 4.
White has a long way to go before he enters the NFL leader discussion, though. His 116 receptions rank 155th all time. Roger Craig has the NFL record with 292 receptions, followed by LaDainian Tomlinson (291 receptions), Reggie Bush (260), and Ray Rice (250). There’s no way White will come close and it would be a shock if he cracked 200 receptions by the end of the year- and that would only rank 27th.
Receiving yards: 1,099
White trails Carl Garrett (1,158) and Faulk (1,131) in the rankings. White could honestly set the record next week against the Houston Texans because a 60-yard game wouldn’t be a surprise for anyone. Roger Craig is the record holder at 2,742 receiving yards through four seasons.
White is on pace for a 88 reception, 920 receiving yard season to go with 392 rushing yards. A season with 1,312 yards from scrimmage would be outstanding and would trail just 2004 Corey Dillon (1,738), 2001 Antowain Smith (1,349), and 2012 Stevan Ridley (1,314) for the most by a running back under Bill Belichick.
If White continues his ascent as a runner, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him challenge even greater heights.