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RB Rex Burkhead - New England Patriots

5-10, 214Born: 7-2-1990College: NebraskaDrafted: Round 6

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Week 21: at Philadelphia Eagles

All RB vs PHI

FBG says: Bad matchup. The Patriots head into this game with having three straight tough rushing matchups and from a rushing standpoint the first two games have all been similar. Dion Lewis has led the rushing attack, but in reality, they are utilizing the passing game more than the rushing game to move the ball down the field as Lewis has just 24 carries over the last two games. Rex Burkhead returned from injury last game but appears to be in somewhat of a doghouse after cutting Tom Brady's hand as he only had one carry and saw very little action which continued James White playing on third downs. White who has just seven carries in the last two weeks has found himself more of a role in the passing game than the running game this playoff. At the end of the day, look for the Patriots to utilize the passing game to exploit the Eagles defense this week. The Eagles defense continues to be one of the best rushing defense in the leagues as their front four is as good as they come in the NFL with Vinny Curry, Timmy Jernigan, Fletcher Cox, and Brandon Graham. This is a defense that will be relied upon for most of this game similar to what they have been relied upon for most of the playoffs. This is a defense that is the best in terms of DVOA and allowed the fewest yards per game to opponents at 79.2 yards per game this season. Over the last two games, the Eagles have shown a few cracks as they struggled to change of pace running back Tevin Coleman (7.9 yards per carry) and Jerick Mckinnon (4.0 yards per carry). They have struggled with running backs who can get out wide as free safety Rodney McLeod has struggled in run defense this season. Where the Eagles have dominated is that they have been incredibly strong with runs up the middle as they completely shut down Latavius Murray and Devonta Freeman.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDFumLPts
20 vs JAX 0 1 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.5
21 at PHI 9 3 18 0 1 1 46 0 0 6.4
21 at PHI PROJ-Dodds * 6 * * 2 * * * *
21 at PHI PROJ-Tremblay * 6 * * 1 * * * *
21 at PHI PROJ-Bloom * 2 * * 1 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2017 Week 20 vs JAX (1 / 5 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Coming off an injury, Burkhead wasn't involved in the game plan at all beyond a few touches and targets.

2017 Week 15 vs PIT (4 / 12 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)

Though he vulture a 1 yard score, the big Burkhead news was his knee injury early in the game. It is being reported as a knee sprain, which means he could be back for the playoffs. For the next couple weeks though, it looks like he will be unavailable.

2017 Week 14 vs MIA (5 / 8 / 1 rush, 5 / 5 / 45 / 0 rec)

Similarly to Dion Lewis, Burkhead wasn't able to get anything going on the ground, and the Patriots had to abandon the run game in the second half. He was involved in the passing game, but there were no big or spark plays to speak of. Burkhead did score a 1 yard touchdown on the ground after a pass interference call got the Pats to the goal line. He should see more success going forward.

2017 Week 13 vs BUF (12 / 78 / 2 rush, 4 / 3 / 25 / 0 rec)

Along with Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead helped pave the way for the run game, dominating the Bills on the ground. Burkhead scored two touchdowns, one being of the short 1 yard variety. The other was a nice 14 yard burst up the middle, cutting back and fighting defenders to barely score a touchdown. Burkhead also had a nice 30+ yard gain from the shotgun formation, displaying a one cut and go move with some decent speed to boot. Burkhead has been integrated fully into the offense since coming back from injury in multiple game phases.

2017 Week 12 vs MIA (13 / 50 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 3 / 1 rec)

Burkhead wasn't sensational in this one, but he had his number called at the right time. He scored after Dion Lewis got the team on the doorstep on the opening drive, and then finished a drive with a short reception after his end around got the team on the doorstep. He had a drive to himself in the second half that didn't amount to anything, and also got some carries in garbage time. He also failed on a fourth down conversion and most of his touches were modest gains. He's the #2 back in this offense.

2017 Week 11 vs OAK (5 / 16 / 0 rush, 6 / 4 / 21 / 0 rec)

Rex Burkhead worked as the second option behind Dion Lewis. Burkhead fumbled in the first quarter, but luckily, the ball was recovered by Dwayne Allen. Burkhead sat out a series before re-emerging in his normal pass catching role. Burkhead had a few carries between the tackles, but was quickly bottled up. As a receiver, he made two tough grabs--one of which went for 10 yards.

2017 Week 10 vs DEN (10 / 36 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 27 / 1 rec)

Burkhead played a featured role throughout the game in Week 10, displaying his versatility above all else. He caught a few passes, including one on a slant route for a 14 yard touchdown. He carried the ball with some success. Most importantly, he blocked a punt that set the Patriots up for a score. Now that he's healthy, Burkhead will clearly have a role with the team.

2017 Week 8 vs LAC (4 / 15 / 0 rush, 7 / 7 / 68 / 0 rec)

Back from injury, Burkhead's primary contributions came in the passing game, as he played entire series at times, highlighting his versatility. He had a big YAC gainer called back due to a penalty, but he displayed nice effort on the play shedding two tacklers. His role may be uncertain on a weekly basis, however.

2017 Week 7 vs ATL (6 / 31 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 11 / 0 rec)

Burkhead saw a handful of carries after being shelved for a few weeks with injury, but with the 4 man backfield rotation, it may be tough for him to carve out a huge role.

2017 Week 2 vs NO (2 / 3 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 41 / 1 rec)

Burkhead did score a touchdown on a lob pass from 19 yards out, but perhaps the bigger note from this game was that he left with an injury early in the game. At this time, it's unsure what the injury is, but it's worth monitoring, as Burkhead had 5 touches in the early going. If he is healthy, the touches may be there if Patriots receivers are still dealing with injuries.

2017 Week 1 vs KC (3 / 15 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)

Though he was hyped coming into the game, Burkhead only played 10 of 81 snaps for the Patriots offense. The semi-good news is that he was targeted or touched the ball on 6 of those snaps, including one end zone target. Even though this backfield will likely be fluid, Burkhead's role seems minimal right now.

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Latest News

Patriots | Free agency decisions ahead for New England (Mon Feb 5, 01:55 PM) - The New England Patriots face the prospect of losing several key free agents. The Patriots have to address key impending free agents in OTs Nate Solder, Cameron Fleming and LaAdrian Waddle, along with RB Rex Burkhead, WR Danny Amendola, CB Malcolm Butler, WR/ST Matthew Slater and RB Dion Lewis. New England is projected to have approximately $17 million in salary cap space. TE Dwayne Allen, TE Martellus Bennett, DT Alan Branch, LB David Harris and RB Mike Gillislee all could be released to create more cap space.

Our View: Solder is their franchise left tackle, and there's not a lot of talent at the position in this free agent class. There is speculation that Solder will end up retiring.
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