The New England Patriots’ midseason signing of running back LeGarrette Blount was quietly one of the biggest acquisitions of the year.
Two months ago, Blount was cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers after leaving the field early in the team’s Week 11 game against the Tennessee Titans.
Blount was reportedly upset about his lack of carries, and attempted to leave the stadium and board the team bus before being convinced to come back to the locker room.
When ESPN cameras went into the locker room after the game ended, Blount was dressed and waiting at his locker as the team walked in:
Two days after being cut, the Patriots signed Blount to a two-year deal. Blount was a natural fit. He had spent the 2013 season with New England before Bill Belichick let him go to Pittsburgh in free agency.
After signing with New England before Week 12, Blount steadily became a bigger and bigger part of New England’s backfield. He ran for 281 yards and three touchdowns for the Pats in five regular season games.
Blount has proven to be even more important in the playoffs. He ran for 148 yards and three touchdowns in the Patriots’ 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game.
In the Super Bowl, Blount could be the single biggest X-factor for the Patriots. NFL analyst Bucky Brooks shared an amazing stat about the Patriots when they dominate the run game:
The Patriots typically win when they have success running the ball.
At the same time, having success running the ball is pretty much the only way to beat Seattle. The Seahawks are 10-0 this year when they allow fewer than 100 yards rushing. They’re only 4-4 when they allow more than 100 yards rushing. The two teams that were able to put up more than 150 rushing yards on Seattle — Dallas and Kansas City — both beat the Seahawks.
It will be tough for Blount. The Seahawks are ranked 2nd in defensive DVOA against the run. But if Blount can produce another game like he did against the Colts, history shows the Patriots have a good shot at winning the Super Bowl.
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