The Patriots were very short on offensive weapons in 2019. They lacked the speed at wide receiver to create separation for Quarterback Tom Brady. There was a glaring hole at Tight End after Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement following the 2018 season. But one position that seemed solidified was running back. The backfield for the Patriots promises to look really good for the future. So why not take a glimpse into the 2020 backfield for the New England Patriots?
The obvious number one running back for the Patriots going forward is Sony Michel. A lot of people have been down on Michel, and honestly I really don’t know why. He had 912 rushing yards this season, along with seven touchdowns. Last time I checked, isn’t 1,000 yards or close to it a very good season for a running back? News flash, YES, it very well is a good season. Michel will also benefit from David Andrews hopefully coming back in 2020 to solidify the offensive line more and create open holes. Michel has a great future ahead of him in New England. Don’t be surprised if he gets over the 1,000 yard mark in 2020!
James White is going to continue to have a prominent role in the Patriots offense. We know what to expect of him in 2020. He’s going to continue to be the receiving back that Brady (or the next quarterback?) are going to trust for checkdowns. White has made a name for himself with this Patriots team and 2019 wasn’t any different. He finished the season with 645 receiving yards on 72 receptions, with five of them reaching the endzone. Not to mention, White also had 263 rushing yards on the season. We know what we’re getting with White, and that’s consistency. Last time I checked, Patriots fans like consistency.
This is one name that we didn’t see a lot of during the 2019 season. Damien Harris was the Patriots third round pick in the 2019 NFL draft. He only played in the Jets game in New York, where he rushed for 12 yards on four carries. But in 2020, you might see Harris’s name pop up more in the score sheets. Remember, Harris played his college football at Alabama. He recorded 20 touchdowns between his junior and senior year. The running back was also a part of two National Championship teams at Alabama in 2015 and 2017. It’s not like he played for a low end D-I program. This is ALABAMA we’re talking about here. Not to mention that Harris was recorded at the combine with a 4.57 40 yard dash time. I’m curious to see what this kid can do with more in-game reps. Something tells me that we’ll be seeing his name called upon a lot more during the 2020 season.
The Patriots backfield looks to be as strong as ever heading into 2020. Could we see a guy like Rex Burkhead shoot up the ladder as well? Maybe, given his excellent ending to 2019. But for now, keep an eye on Michel, White, and Harris heading into training camp, during the summer and throughout the entire 2020 season. I don’t know about you all, but I want revenge already and the 2019 season hasn’t even concluded!