Eyes on Patriots' running game
November, 13, 2011
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
Greg M. Cooper/US PresswireThe Patriots celebrate one of BenJarvus Green-Ellis' touchdowns in Week 5.For all the hype about the Jets and their ground-and-pound offensive philosophy, all eyes Sunday should be on the Patriots' running game. New England rushed the ball a season-high 35 times against the Jets in Week 5 with BenJarvus Green-Ellis setting career highs with 27 rushes and 136 yards (an tied a career high with two rushing scores). Green-Ellis was the first Patriots' back since Curtis Martin in 1996 to put up 130 yards and two touchdowns in a game, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
That effort helped quarterback Tom Brady put together a quietly efficient effort (24-of-33, 321 yards, TD, INT), at least by his typically lofty standards. That balance is key for the Patriots in recent seasons. According to Stats and Info, New England has lost only twice when calling passes fewer than 60 percent of the time since the start of 2009 (called passes including sacks and scrambles), with both losses coming in the 2009 campaign. The Patriots have dropped back to pass 64.4 percent of the time their past two games. A closer look: