New England Patriots: 5 standout performances from blowout over Eagles

Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
J.J. Taylor #42 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots standout No. 1: The running back room

The New England Patriots ground game was on full display tonight. New England’s rushing totals for the night were mightily impressive, as they finished with 44 carries for 207 yards and four touchdowns. In other words, they powered New England to victory tonight.

Damien Harris got things started with a quick touchdown on New England’s first drive. Although he finished with just 14 yards on six carries, the fact that Harris started this game and spent his time with the first team offense is a good sign for him.

In that regard, things didn’t seem so good for Sony Michel considering he wasn’t seeing much action in the first quarter. That quickly changed towards the end of the quarter, and Michel showed just why the Pats have hung onto him this long. He finished with 34 yards on seven carries, while also surprisingly having the biggest receiving contribution from the running back group, hauling in four passes for 37 yards.

Michel was eventually relived by rookie standout Rhamondre Stevenson, who followed up last week’s breakout performance with another one tonight. He led the team with 15 carries, while also picking up 66 yards and two scores. The big back manages to combine his big frame with a surprising elusiveness, and he looks like an absolute steal for New England so far.

Yet the star of the group tonight had to be J.J. Taylor. After seeing no snaps on offense in the first half, Taylor came out with his hair on fire in the second half. He led the team with 93 yards on the ground, despite just getting only 12 carries, while also punching in a score himself. Many have wondered whether Taylor would be able to stick around in a crowded running back room, but after a game like this, they almost can’t afford to cut him at this point.

Next. Winovich entering pivotal season. dark

The running back room is clearly one of the deepest spots on the Pats roster, and tonight only confirmed that. It was looking like the decision on what to do at this position might have been one of the toughest to make, but last night’s onslaught by the running backs may have made that decision easier. These guys have all shown they belong on the roster, and the coaching staff should take note once the final cuts have to be made.