LeGarrette Blount Shows Inhuman Ability to Break Tackles in Patriots' Week 9 Win

Erik Frenz@ErikFrenzSenior Writer INovember 8, 2015

New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (29) runs from Washington Redskins cornerback Will Blackmon (41) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

On a day when the New England Patriots suffered multiple injuries that could affect the effectiveness of their running game, you wouldn't know it from looking at the stat sheet.

The Patriots entered their Week 9 game against the Washington Redskins with just six offensive linemen on the active game-day roster. They lost one of those linemen, right tackle Sebastian Vollmer, to a head injury in the second quarter. If that wasn't enough, they lost electric running back Dion Lewis to a knee injury in the third quarter.

None of that stopped the Patriots from pulling out a 27-10 win. Those setbacks also didn't stop the Patriots from racking up the rushing yards against the Redskins to the tune of 161 yards on 37 carries (4.4 YPA) and a touchdown.

Most of the credit goes to LeGarrette Blount, who gave new life to his nickname "Blount Force Trauma" by pummeling the Redskins into submission on 29 carries for 129 yards and a touchdown.

With so many injuries on the offensive line, it should come as no surprise that Blount was making the most of what little he had and was often making something out of nothing. Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal noted a series of player moves, with the highlight being Blount scored:

Mark Daniels @MarkDanielsPJ

Bryan Stork comes in at center. David Andrews moved to right guard. Shaq Mason was the eligible tight end. LeGarrette Blount scores.

"He was great. He made some big runs, especially when there wasn't a lot there," said quarterback Tom Brady. "He runs so hard, running through guys. He had a great run where he spun out of a bunch of tackles and ran for [21 yards] in the third quarter on a big touchdown drive. It was great to see it. Hopefully we can get more of it."

They might need more of it—a lot more of it—if their injuries on the offensive line don't heal quickly.

The Patriots' offensive line is running on fumes. They might be willing to put just about anyone at tackle as long as he's a warm, healthy body. Heck, Stephen Belichick might be an option at this point. 

And it might not matter; with Blount running as well as he's running, and breaking tackles as frequently and aggressively as he's breaking them, the Patriots offense might still keep chugging.

Only In Boston @OnlyInBOS

Blount when someone tries to tackle him...#NEvsWAS https://t.co/cPJ43y6zkh

It's difficult to put into words just how difficult it is to tackle a 250-pound freight train coming straight at you, so let's leave that job to someone who tried—and admittedly failed—at that task.

"You can't arm-tackle this guy. You want to tackle him, you better full-body him," said Redskins defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois.

"You can't arm-tackle this dude. I tried to arm-tackle him a few times; I felt it from the top to the bottom. I gotta get better with tackling, but you can't tackle a guy that size with your hands. You may want to cut him, chop him, something, but that hand-grabbing stuff? You might as well say he's going to get another five yards after that."

Five yards might be a slight exaggeration—according to Pro Football Focus, Blount averaged an extra 2.25 yards per carry after contact headed into Week 9—but who can blame Francois for high-balling it? It must feel like at least five yards when Blount is breaking out of tackles in the backfield and still getting positive yards or bouncing off would-be tacklers to keep matriculating the ball down the field.

As long as Brady is healthy, the Patriots offense will never fully rely on Blount and the running game to put points on the board. That being said, at least New England knows it can count on him to get the yards he should get—and maybe a few more that he shouldn't—just about every time he touches the ball. 

Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained first-hand.


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