New England Patriots fans aren’t used to this. A rumored, splashy, big-name roster move that fans were really excited about actually happened! Ezekiel Elliott officially became a New England Patriot on Monday.
The Zeke signing has fans hyped, so I know I’m going to catch some flack for this comment: I’m not actually overly excited for what Elliott adds to our rushing attack. We needed an RB2 to go with Rhamondre Stevenson, and he’s a fine option, but I don’t think it’s a given that he’s got enough left in the tank to be truly exciting as a bruising runner.
But there is one aspect of the fit that I’m super excited about, and it’s a very Bill Belichick-friendly, typical Patriots move kind of factor.
And that’s Zeke’s pass blocking.
Rhamondre Stevenson caught plenty of passes last year, but turning in 421 yards on 88 targets doesn’t exactly move the needle, especially when he wasn’t showing much as a blocker in pass protection.
Belichick has historically valued pass-blocking pretty heavily in deciding which running back gets to see the field on passing downs.
And while you don’t usually picture a high-profile star running back (who once stirred up very public contract drama) to be willing to get their nose dirt and do the little things, Zeke absolutely is. He’s not only a willing blocker, but also a good one.
Just check out some of these highlights and tell me he doesn’t scream “Patriot”:
Do I think Zeke transforms this rushing attack and puts us over the edge as a dominant team on the ground? Probably not.
But what this Patriots offense really needs is to put Mac Jones in a position to succeed and finally reach his full potential, and signing Elliott is another big step toward doing exactly that.
I wouldn’t advise betting Zeke to win any rushing titles, but if you are betting on the Patriots this offseason you’ll want to do it on Caesars Sportsbook. Their new-user promo offer will give you a bonus equal to the amount of your first bet if that wager doesn’t win, and its good for anything from $10 all the way up to $1,250. So if you bet $25 on the Pats and they lost, you’d get a $25 bonus (and if you bet $1,000, you’d get $1,000 if they lost etc.). This offer won’t be around forever though, so sign up now to cash in!