Foxborough, MA - Just as Sony Michel stepped up to fill a necessary void in the running game of the New England Patriots when Rex Burkhead was placed on the injured reverse, so too will another running back have to rise to the occasion now.
Whether that is James White, typically a pass-catching back, Kenjon Barner, someone who may be unable to handle the work load, or an outside acquisition, the Patriots now have an offensive hole to fill until Michel returns (potentially).
In a Rob Gronkowski-less game on Sunday, the Patriots found themselves in a worse situation in terms of injuries when their emerging rookie running back, Michel, went down with a knee injury that the organization still remains mum on. Insiders are not predicting anything season-ending currently, but when it comes to the Patriots, lips are frequently sealed.
Aside from the loss of Michel, there is a lot to be happy about in Sunday afternoon's game between the Patriots and the Chicago Bears, who have become contenders during the 2018-19 season. For one, the special teams of the Patriots stepped up in a major way as Cordarrelle Patterson returned a kick-off ninety-five yards for a touchdown and Kyle Van Noy returned a blocked punt twenty-nine yards for a touchdown. (This was the first time the Patriots scored a touchdown off of a blocked punt since Tedy Bruschi did it in 1996.)
The Patriots defense played well, too, though the score might indicate otherwise. The Bears were only able to start humming on offense when their defense secured turnovers, but aside from those opportunities, the Patriots did a great job with a preventative defense, even halting a Hail Mary attempt to end the game that almost resulted in a potentially game-evening moment.
As for the other scores from New England, Stephen Gostkowski netted a field goal from twenty-nine yards out and Julian Edelman hauled in a nine yard touchdown reception. White came alive out of the backfield, too, catching two goal line passes from Tom Brady for touchdowns.
The Patriots now have sole possession of first place in the AFC East at 5-2 and they will look to continue their four game winning streak next Monday night against the Buffalo Bills.