Patriots Have Found Their Running Game

The Patriots were supposedly a one-dimensional team with superstar Tom Brady putting up video game numbers. Last week things changed, now they have a running game. Is it possible this offense can get more dangerous?

     The Patriots are 30-5 in the month of October since the 2003 season and have won 21 out of their last 23 October games. The Patriots are 16-1 at home and 14-4 on the road during that time in October. New England was 4-0 in 2010 in October.

     RB Stevan Ridley had by far the best rushing performance of the season for a Patriot last week with 97 yards on 10 carries. Ridley credited the offensive line, which he said opened up "the biggest holes I've ever seen in my life."

   "We're only four games in and it seems like that offensive line has been together for a good while with the green grass that I'm seeing when I'm coming through the line," Ridley said. "I really can't complain or have anything bad to say about them working up front. As an offense, Tom (Brady) always does a great job in the passing game.

   "Our receivers are doing a great job blocking downfield as well as making the catches. So really our offense is complementing each other. As a unit, we're still just growing as a unit and trying to get better each day."

     The emergence of the running game certainly helped QB Tom Brady, who managed the game successfully without having to throw more than 40 passes, which is something that became a theme in the first three weeks.

   "I thought we did a great job balancing the game out," Brady said. "For the first time in four weeks, it was really a game that (running) was a big part of what we were trying to accomplish. We were able to run the ball inside, outside, all the different backs ran it and they ran it well, so that's how you become a great offense."

Plax As A Patriot?

      Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said he considered acquiring Jets WR Plaxico Burress, who returned to the NFL this season after a lengthy layoff due to incarceration.

   "We look at everybody," Belichick said. "Obviously, you don't get everybody. Some things come together, some don't. We'll work with what we've got. They'll work with what they've got (and) see how it goes."

Stat Check
    Few teams have been able to match the Patriots in the scoring department.

   The Patriots currently have 135 points and are on pace to finish with 540, which would be second in team history and fourth all-time in NFL history. The 2007 Patriots have the record with 587.

   The Patriots are also averaging 33.7 points per game in 2011. That number would be second all-time in team history. In 2007, the Patriots averaged 36.8 points per game.

   --Aside from their 7-4 record at Gillette against the Jets, the Patriots have been fairly dominant at home since their new stadium opened in 2002. The Patriots own an overall record of 61-12 (.836) at Gillette Stadium in regular-season games, which is the league's best home record since 2002.

   --The Patriots lead the NFL with a plus-110 turnover margin since the 1994 season, including a league-leading and franchise record plus-28 in 2010. Kansas City is second with a plus-99 turnover margin.



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