When the New England Patriots traded Jeff Demps and a seventh-round draft pick for embattled running back LeGarrette Blount, I literally laughed out loud. It was the kind of trade that Bill Belichick loves to make. Only the Patriots would think they can mine a diamond in the rough for so little. I just never thought they could get a back that would be the key to them making a Super Bowl run this season.
For years, the only thing holding back the high-scoring Patriots offense has been a running game to compliment Tom Brady and the passing attack. Teams may not win with the run anymore like they used to, but there will always be a need in the NFL for a rushing game that can salt away wins that the passing game has set up. Too many times I’ve watched the Patriots pass their way to big leads, only to let lesser teams back in the game because they couldn’t eat the clock late in the game.
Now they have the kind of running back that can do just that. Blount, a battering ram of a ball carrier who had his best game of the season in the final week against the Buffalo Bills with 189 yards rushing and two touchdowns, is the perfect back to feed the ball to late in the game when the Patriots need to put the win in the books.
He came into this year with a chip on his shoulders, and now finds himself a major reason why the Patriots are the best contender to upset the Denver Broncos this month. New England once again has their eyes set on a championship run. If they want to go all the way this winter, they will need Blount to be the kind of running back that gets better as the weather gets colder.