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Patriots’ Rhamondre Stevenson, J.J. Taylor finish preseason atop NFL in rushing yards over expected

Two Patriots running backs led the way in Next Gen Stats’ metric.

New England Patriots and New York Giants Duel Practice Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

No NFL running backs totaled more rushing yards over expected during the 2021 preseason than a pair of New England Patriots.

According to Next Gen Stats, Rhamondre Stevenson led the way with 111 yards over expected while J.J. Taylor finished behind the rookie with 62 yards over expected.

Stevenson, 23, scored a league-high five touchdowns on the ground through matchups with the Washington Football Team, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants. The fourth-round product of Cerritos College and Oklahoma also finished as the August leader with 217 rushing yards. A 91-yarder would be among his 30 carries.

Taylor, 23, handled 23 carries for 179 rushing yards. Last spring’s undrafted arrival out of Arizona also had a hand in 10 catches for 62 receiving yards. And on special teams, he returned seven punts for 62 yards and three kickoffs for 68 yards.

Defined by Next Gen Stats as “the difference between actual rushing yards and expected rushing yards on an individual play or series of plays,” Tony Jones of the New Orleans Saints and Chuba Hubbard of the Carolina Panthers ranked closest in the metric this preseason.

New England’s regular season opens Sept. 12 at Gillette Stadium against the Miami Dolphins.