The New England Patriots offense was not a well-oiled machine in Sunday’s 22-17 victory over the New York Jets. They did do enough to secure the victory, largely due to running back Rhamondre Stevenson.
Against New York, Stevenson accounted for 143 of the Patriots’ 288 total yards, marking the fifth straight game he led New England in scrimmage yards. He continues to be one of the best running backs in the league after contact, which was evident on his 35-yard run to start the second half that helped put the Patriots in position to score their only touchdown of the afternoon.
A pretty impressive run by @dreeday32 to start the Pats 2nd half!— NFL (@NFL) October 30, 2022
: #NEvsNYJ on CBS
: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/FzCADVP5Ro pic.twitter.com/pno32YpS6i
“Stevenson is obviously just a tremendous back,” Bill Belichick said postgame. “He makes a lot of yards on his own making solid yards after contact.”
Where Stevenson continues to make a noteworthy difference is in the passing attack. After setting a career-high last week with 59 receiving yards, he topped that against New York with 72 receiving yards on seven touches.
After not making much of an impact in the passing game his rookie season, both Stevenson and Belichick noted it was an area of emphasis in his game over the summer. His work is quickly paying off through eight games as he ranks second on the team with 32 receptions.
“As soon as the offseason came last year, that's the first thing I work on: route running, how to recognize the defense, things like that,” Stevenson said postgame. “It's coming into play and I’m doing a good job at it.”
With the results showing, he’s started to draw comparisons to a former Patriot great pass-catcher out of the backfield.
“He’s just all around a great player. He can catch really well. I tell him all the time, you’ve got some really good mittens, man,” Kendrick Bourne said. “That’s what we need. To be able to be versatile, having a pass catcher out of the backfield is so big. He’s reminding me of James White. So, just to keep that kind of third-down threat with all our other wideouts and threats, it kind of makes it hard to stop us in a sense. Proud of that dude.”
Stevenson continued his monster start to his sophomore season by saving the offense in the Meadowlands on Sunday. The Patriots will continue to feature their dual-threat back heavily moving forward.