The start to 2017 for New England Patriots running back Mike Gillislee has been a “grind it out” type of approach. He’s been battling for extra yardage en route to a 3.6 yard per carry average while totaling 246 yards and four touchdowns.
While three of those four touchdowns came in the opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, he’s still been a reliable option on the ground. To this point, the Patriots top running back hasn’t been able to really break out for any explosive runs, but as ESPN’s Mike Reiss reported, head coach Bill Belichick believes that’s going to change soon.
“Mike has certainly given us a lot of tough yards. He’s an explosive player. He hasn’t really hit them yet, but I don’t think there’s any doubt that those are going to happen. He’s been close a few times so hopefully he’ll start this week.”
Gillislee has been the unquestioned top option in the backfield for the Patriots, tallying 12 or more carries in every game this season. Now, he and the Patriots are up against a New York Jets defense which has allowed the third-most rushing yards per game (143) and just last week allowed a brutal 140 yards to one of the bottom rushing attacks in the NFL, in the Cleveland Browns.
Week 6 may have big game written all over it for Gillislee, assuming that he gets the same workload that he’s received over the first five weeks of the season.
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