New England Patriots Must Get James White More Involved


It is time for RB James White to become a major part of the New England Patriots’ offense on a weekly basis.

Moving to 12-2 on the season, the New England Patriots walked away with another victory this week. This time, a relatively non-competitive 33-16 win over the lowly Tennessee Titans. There were many players who stepped up and performed well for the Patriots in this one, but the play of running back James White once again stood out above most.

White is really coming into his own in the Patriots’ backfield, hammering down the role as their primary receiving back. Looking like faster and quicker Shane Vereen on the field, White led the Patriots with seven receptions on Sunday against the Titans. Those seven catches came on only eight targets, and went for 71 yards, including an impressive 30-yards touchdown reception on a screen pass from Tom Brady in the second quarter.

The touchdown was impressive, but White’s biggest play on the afternoon ended up being called back. On third down from the Patriots’ own 24-yard-line, White took a pass from Brady in the flat, and raced down field for an impressive 70-yard catch and run. That play would have given the Patriots the ball at the Titans’ six-yard-line.

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However, offensive pass interference brought the ball all the way back. As Rich Hill of Pats Pulpit points out, the offensive pass interference called on Keshawn Martin was an absolutely atrocious call. That play should have counted, and would have made for a much more statistically impressive day for White. He was robbed of another 70 yards receiving from a terrible call by the officials.

However, White’s ability to make plays in this offense is obvious. While the officials missing that call was ridiculous, what is perhaps even more ridiculous is that White’s only target in the second half came on that offensive pass interference play. I understand that the Patriots were in control throughout most of the second half, but this is not the first time they have not used White enough.

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Despite ripping off a big play or making a smart decision every time he touches the ball, the Patriots simply refuse to give White a larger role in their offense, and that is baffling to me. Brady’s targets in the passing game are limited, not to mention their struggles with injuries in the backfield.

I am not saying to give White 25 carries a game, but with their lack of offensive options clearly dwindled, I see no reason why he should not be getting 10 carries a game, and at least 10 targets in the passing game.

With the status of Danny Amendola unknown, until Julian Edelman comes back, White is clearly the best short route receiver in the Patriots’ offense. In fact, him and Rob Gronkowski are the top two receiving threats on the offense. Gronk will always receive a ton of attention from the defense, so getting White more involved will significantly help this offense going forward.

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White has shown the ability to be a significant playmaker in the Patriots’ offense. It is time to get him more involved in the game-plan.