Going from being too crowded, to not crowded enough, the New England Patriots backfield has transformed from an area of strength (in numbers) to a question mark in a mere two weeks.
After trading Laurence Maroney to the Denver Broncos after Week 1, and Kevin Faulk’s ACL injury last weekend in the Meadowlands, the Patriots are left with uncertainty at the position behind Tom Brady. Fred Taylor looked like a veteran trying to prove something against the Cincinnati Bengals but was riddled to the sideline for Week 2.
Why? Who knows.
Sammy Morris is now more of a full-back then running back and BenJarvus Green-Ellis has minimal experience in meaningful games as a NFL back. What does this mean for the Patriots? Most likely, fans will see more of an aerial attack, circa 2001-02 when the Patriots relied on a short passing game of screens, slants, and outs to serve as the interim running game.
With maybe an audition this weekend at Foxboro, the Patriots could ask the Buffalo Bills about the availability of Fred Jackson or Marshawn Lynch, as either would serve as an upgrade over the current constituents of the backfield.
Even as the season approached, skeptics were critical of the Patriots backfield, and now down two men, the New England running backs are looking thinner then ever.