4. Ezekiel Elliott
Yes, the Patriots struggle with blocking and creating the optimal working conditions for their running backs. The rushing rotation was certainly not the biggest problem the Patriots faced all season.
One could even argue that Ezekiel Elliott and Rhamondre Stevenson's play was fine given the circumstances. There is even a case to be made that Elliott was New England's best free-agent acquisition in 2023.
Yet, that is more about the rest of the team and the front office's roster-building decisions than it is about Zeke.
His attitude and effort level drew praise from Patriots fans and analysts throughout the season, but that might be overshadowing the actual production of the former Pro Bowl running back.
Elliott had career lows across the board, with only 3.5 yards per rush attempt, 37.8 yards per game, and three rushing touchdowns. That is not an RB1 impact. His pass blocking also left plenty to be desired, allowing 12 QB pressures and two sacks in 95 opportunities.
There is talk of him returning for 2024, but the Patriots may be better off looking for younger alternatives.
Patriots fans, if you don't want to think about the 2023 season and want to look ahead instead, FanDuel Sportsbook has the best offer for you. If you make a $5 bet on FanDuel for the Super Bowl and it wins, you can claim an additional $200 in bonus bets that you can use on some Patriots futures bets for next season.