Despite his coming off a career season with 1,161 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns, maybe the Patriots knew something when not making a big push to re-sign Blount during the offseason. No other team did, either, until Philadelphia inked him to a one-year, $1.25 million deal in mid-May. Blount struggled in the preseason and didn’t show enough in the opener against Washington (14 rushes for 46 yards) to receive a single carry in last Sunday’s loss at Kansas City.
Eagles coach Doug Peterson said Monday that all four of his running backs �� Blount, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement �� have a game-specific role. Even so, Blount needs to get on a roll, possibly as a short-yardage back, to stay in the rotation.
This is a playoff rematch, for what that’s worth. The Texans didn’t have J.J. Watt in the divisional round last year, or Deshaun Watson. The Patriots don’t get to face the Saints’ defense this time, either �� they get a Texans defense that hit Tom Brady more than a few times in that playoff game, plus Watt, who should have rounded into shape more. The Patriots will be looking to continue their latest vengeance tour, but it won’t be the breeze (see what we did there?) it was last week.
The Lions are in the position of having to prove themselves every week before anyone trusts them �� heck, not that many trusted them last week against a weak Giants team with a hobbling Odell Beckham Jr. The Falcons will be a stiffer test after unleashing offensive hell on the Packers in Week 2. Teeing off on them the way they did against Eli Manning won’t be easy, but again, the Lions defense might be in need of a little more respect.
The expectations the Vikings’ offense had created in their Monday night opener against the Saints were diluted when Sam Bradford went down. Case Keenum just won’t put the same fear into a defense, certainly not the Buccaneers. They’re capable of making the Vikings look as bad as they made Mike Glennon and the Bears look last week.