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Patriots' running game overwhelms Dolphins


New England Patriots running back Sony Michel (26) is chased by Miami Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker (55) on a carry in the third quarter on Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI

ByWilliam Bendetson, The Sports Xchange

The Miami Dolphins had the chance for a statement win Sunday and came to Gillette Stadium lifeless while the New England Patriots' running game came alive in a 38-7 win.

The Patriots' rookie running back Sony Michel showed he is worthy of the first-round pick the team used on him in April. Michel finished with 25 carries for 112 yards and one touchdown against the Dolphins, who suffered their first loss and are 3-1.

The Patriots (2-2) made the offensive adjustments necessary to win after a 10-point showing in a loss at Detroit on Sunday Night Football.

Tom Brady acknowledged last Sunday that the Patriots need to get running back James White more involved. After Rob Gronkowski, White is the team's best offensive skill position player. White had two touchdowns Sunday -- one running and one receiving.

He had a 22-yard rushing touchdown and 14-yard scoring pass. Brady was impressed with White's ability to track down the ball on his touchdown catch because of a high throw by Brady.

"I knew where he was running, and I knew I didn't have much time to wait for him to get there, so I just tried to flip it up there to the back corner," Brady said. "Right when I let it go, I thought, 'We've got a shot.' And I kind of looked under some legs and saw him put his arms up and make a great catch. So, it was pretty sweet. Those are fun ones."

Given the versatility of White, he can confuse defenses because they don't know whether the Patriots will run or throw.

White, who is the only player left from the Patriots' 2014 draft class, showed patience the past few weeks until he could become more involved with the offense. White had the Pats' only touchdown against Detroit.

He finished with eight carries for 44 yards and had eight catches for 68 yards against Miami, matching Michel's 112 total yards.

"I think both those guys did a great job. ... James always does a great job," Brady said. "He played a big role today and it was a big win today. We needed it, and hopefully we can build on it, gain some confidence in some things.

"It's a quick turnaround [from Sunday night], so it's good to win and we've got to get ready to go again here shortly."

The Patriots might have found a productive combination with Michel and White. Michel is a power runner while White can change speeds.

New England head coach Bill Belichick has achieved success before with different combinations of running backs with varied skill sets such as Antowain Smith, Corey Dillon, Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount.

After running back Laurence Maroney did not work out as a first-round pick in 2006, some were critical of the Patriots for taking Michel that high in April.

After wideouts Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola departed the Patriots sought more talent on offense and they were confident that Michel could produce out of the backfield.

Belichick stuck to his philosophy of taking the best player available, that being Michel out of Georgia, and it paid off Sunday against the Dolphins.


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U.S. Daily News | Sports: Patriots' running game overwhelms Dolphins
Patriots' running game overwhelms Dolphins
U.S. Daily News | Sports
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