In what would be considered his breakout year in 2016, Gillislee rushed for 577 yards (5.7 yards per carry) and eight total touchdowns. He was only targeted 11 times in the passing game but caught nine of those balls for 50 yards and another score. A former member of the Miami Dolphins, Gillislee was picked 164th overall by the Dolphins in 2013.
Gillislee, who is a strong north-and-south runner, defies some expectations. Though he is not on the heavier side for running backs, he packs a strong punch and is relentless in the red zone. He would not be a one-for-one replacement for someone like LeGarrette Blount if Blount’s contractual stalemate with the Patriots continues.
Speaking Tuesday at the Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, Goodell confirmed that he plans to attend the Patriots’ 2017 NFL Kickoff game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.
Breaking with tradition, Goodell was not on hand for New England’s 2015 home opener after the Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX. He also missed January’s AFC Championship Game between the Pats and the Steelers, choosing instead to travel to Atlanta for the NFC Championship Game.
The Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will visit the White House on April 19, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced Thursday.
This will mark the fifth time Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization have met with the President of the United States in Washington, D.C.
The offense, as multi-dimensional as the roster suggests it might come to be, stagnated without Julian Edelman, who limped onto the field pregame holding the most recent Lombardi Trophy. Edelman’s knee injury proved to be a significant impediment to sustaining drives (six Patriots drives ended with punts, two more when New England couldn’t convert fourth downs) and perhaps another run at a Super Bowl. The defense struggled to find a pass rush (hello, Rob Ninkovich, are you sure you want to retire?) and gave up big plays (touchdown passes of 75 and 78 yards) and long drives (a 12-play, 90-yarder in the first quarter was the first warning sign), silencing, at least for a week, the myth that quarterback Alex Smith (28 of 35 for 368 yards and four touchdowns) is nothing more than a game manager.
The destruction was so complete and so out of character that a local television station ran a postgame poll for fans: Are you more concerned with the offense, the defense or the injuries to linebacker Dont’a Hightower (knee) and receiver Danny Amendola (head)? That about covered it.
Britt earned 18 catches for 233 yards and two touchdowns in nine games for the victory-barren Browns. The ninth-year pro churned out 1,002 yards on 68 receptions and five TDs with Jeff Fisher’s L.A. Rams squad last season. The 6-foot-3 Britt brings size to a mostly smallish Patriots receiving corps.
We’ve seen receivers struggle to grasp the Patriots complex system in the past, especially on short notice. After getting beat up on the outside in last week’s loss, New England hopes the physicality Britt could potentially bring to the field will pay dividends in a massive showdown Sunday afternoon.
By increments, they are, despite the television cutaway shot of Brady screaming curses in frustration. New England’s running game was more productive (118 yards and a Dion Lewis touchdown) and its pass protection held up better (no sacks allowed), two points of concern stemming from earlier games. The secondary is still experiencing too many breakdowns and allowing too many big plays (the Jets had four pass plays of at least 30 yards) and that is what staked the Jets to a 14-0 lead and kept them close until the end. Coach Bill Belichick said he felt the Patriots were their own biggest enemy in the first third of the game. Had Jets quarterback Josh McCown not thrown two interceptions, and had a confounding replay review not decided that Austin Seferian-Jenkins fumbled a touchdown pass that never left his hands, which took the touchdown off the board and gave possession to the Patriots, the Jets probably would have at least forced overtime.
It was a missed chance in an unexpectedly competitive game for the Jets, and another in a season-starting series of not-quite-right games for the Patriots. The result is all the same, though. The Patriots are back in first place in the division alone.