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RB Dion Lewis - New England Patriots

5-7, 193Born: 9-27-1990College: PittsburghDrafted: Round 5

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Photo: Kevin Hoffman, US Presswire

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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

17 vs NYJ 52 26 93 1 7 6 40 1 0 25.3
19 vs TEN 43 15 62 0 10 9 79 0 0 14.1
20 vs JAX 0 9 34 0 8 7 32 0 1 5.6
21 at PHI 21 9 39 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.9
21 at PHI PROJ-Dodds * 13 * * 2 * * * *
21 at PHI PROJ-Tremblay * 12 * * 3 * * * *
21 at PHI PROJ-Bloom * 14 * * 5 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2017 Week 20 vs JAX (9 / 34 / 0 rush, 8 / 7 / 32 / 0 rec)

Against the speedy Jags defense, Dion Lewis was stifled on both the ground and in the air, turning 16 touches into a mere 66 yards. Major credit goes to the Jags defense who dominated the trenches. Lewis's most memorable play was a fumble deep in Jaguars territory that ceded a massive momentum swing. Again, credit goes to the defense, Myles Jack in particular, for ripping the ball out of Lewis's blind spot. The offense shifted away from the run game and put the onus on the passing game, which worked out in the end.

2017 Week 19 vs TEN (15 / 62 / 0 rush, 10 / 9 / 79 / 0 rec)

If there is anyone who has helped lead the offensive charge for the Pats as of late, it's Dion Lewis. He touched the ball 24 times, and has been perhaps the critical player over the last month or so. Lewis ran the ball well, and completely overwhelmed the Titans backers in the passing game with a whopping 9 catches. He got open at will, and was able to convert several key catches. Looking like one of the more explosive players on the field when he gets the ball, Lewis will once again be a focal point against the Jaguars despite getting his touchdowns 'vultured'.

2017 Week 17 vs NYJ (26 / 93 / 1 rush, 7 / 6 / 40 / 1 rec)

Dion Lewis was dynamic. Functioning as the team's Žbellcow', Lewis was deployed as a runner and as a receiver. As a runner, Lewis ran with toughness between the tackles and with speed on the edges. In the first quarter, Lewis scored the game's first touchdown on a stretch play. Lewis was hit before breaking the plane, but a strong second effort capped off a 9-yard scoring run. In the second quarter, Lewis scored his second touchdown. Brady waited for Lewis to streak across the line of scrimmage before hitting him in stride and allowing him to use his speed to beat a defender to the pylon. Going into the playoffs, Lewis is arguably New England's best playmaker and should be featured early and often.

2017 Week 16 vs BUF (24 / 129 / 1 rush, 5 / 5 / 24 / 1 rec)

Dion Lewis got the start for the New England Patriots and was a focal point from the outset. Lewis did not find success early, but the cumulative effect of his touches paid off late in the game when Lewis gashed Buffalo for multiple chunk runs. Lewis ran on the interior and found success on the left side of the formation late in the game. Lewis scored a receiving touchdown on a well-run screen pass in the fourth quarter and later added a score on the ground. Lewis was shifty and committed in the running game, and his elusiveness paid off against a worn-down Buffalo defense. Lewis was the clear lead back with Rex Burkhead inactive. Mike Gillislee did get the opportunity for a goal line carry that he converted, but Lewis capitalized on his other red zone usage.

2017 Week 15 vs PIT (13 / 67 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 13 / 0 rec)

With Rex Burkhead injured for much of the game, Lewis became the de facto primary running back, and played relatively well. Lewis was able to pick up several intermediate chunk gains, including his 8 yard touchdown run. The offensive line did seem to run block better than they pass blocked, which certainly helped things out. Expect Lewis to see plenty of work we the season closes out.

2017 Week 14 vs MIA (5 / 17 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 50 / 0 rec)

The entire Patriots offense was unable to get anything going against the Dolphins, the running game included. In fact, with the way the game unfolded, it was the Patriots who had to abandon the running game in the second half. As a result, Dion Lewis wasn't used much on the ground, though he was utilized heavily in the passing game. His best play was a one handed snare of a lob pass from Tom Brady, but other than that, there weren't many standout plays on offense.

2017 Week 13 vs BUF (15 / 92 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Dion Lewis helped pave the way for the offense along with Rex Burkhead, as the running game and defense led the way against the Bills. Lewis routinely ripped off positive gains, including a few chunk plays. His biggest play of the day was a 44 yard scamper up the gut, which he cut to the sideline and shed a couple tacklers. He then danced his way up the sideline, displaying tremendous balance as he continued to gain yards. Lewis also had a 15 yard gain to the one yard line, but Rex Burkhead nabbed the touchdown. Lewis has been a key cog in the run game over the past month, and should continue to be so.

2017 Week 12 vs MIA (15 / 112 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 1 / 0 rec)

Lewis was in top form against the Dolphins. His burst looked like one of a fresh back in Week 1 and the Dolphins rarely got a hand on him until he was in the second level of their defense. Lewis broke multiple tackles and almost always got yards after contact on his carries. He was the driving force for two scoring drives and got multiple goal to go carries, but couldn't get in the end zone despite strong running and creativity. Lewis had a brilliant spin move on a goal to go carry and a face mask by Ndamukong Suh on another red zone carry wasn't called. By the fourth quarter, Lewis was breaking into the open field on multiple touches. He is surging heading into December.

2017 Week 11 vs OAK (10 / 60 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 28 / 1 rec)

Dion Lewis has taken control of this backfield. Deployed as a runner and as a receiver, Lewis gave Oakland's defense fits. Lewis was asked to run between the tackles--and rewarded the coaching staff with some hard-nosed running. Lewis refused to be taken down by the first tackler and kept his legs churning to pick-up additional yardage. In the first quarter, Brady hit Lewis on an option route--and Lewis turned the reception into a 15-yard touchdown. On the scoring play, Lewis, who was sitting in the flat as Brady's second option, made the first defender miss before accelerating and corkscrewing into the end zone. As the game progressed, Lewis was fed and picked up tough yards between the tackles. Mike Gillislee was inactive and James White only had five carries, so Lewis appears to have a strangle-hold on this backfield.

2017 Week 10 vs DEN (14 / 55 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Lewis rotated in and out of the lineup, and though he was the best runner on the day, his impact was most felt on a 103 yard kickoff return touchdown. It was simply a case of wheels and good blocking, as so many return touchdowns are. Lewis also ran in a touchdown from 8 yards from the shotgun formation, which opened up a bit more room on the play. He wasn't involved in the passing game, but is clearly one of the lead rushing backs now for the Pats.

2017 Week 8 vs LAC (15 / 44 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 10 / 0 rec)

Once again, as expected, Dion Lewis saw plenty of touches, though he would have seen more if Rex Burkhead wasn't active once again. Lewis saw the most rushes, but didn't do a ton with them, though he did see some carries inside the 10 yard line. He was also not a focal point of the passing game. His big highlight was actually a nice kick return that went for over 70 yards.

2017 Week 7 vs ATL (13 / 76 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)

As expected, Lewis saw an increased role on offense and did well with the touches. His most notable run was a 25 yarder up the gut, thanks in large part to a big hole opened up by the offensive line. Lewis also saw a few carries inside the 10, though he didn't convert any of them. He was also replaced at the 2 yard line on one carry by Mike Gillislee. His touch counts may ebb and flow on a weekly basis with 4 running backs involved, but he'll get his shots.

2017 Week 6 vs NYJ (11 / 52 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Dion Lewis started the game against the Patriots, saw a goal line score, and clearly looked more explosive than backfield mate Mike Gillislee. He had a great 10 yard run that saw him bounce off a wall of tacklers, cut to the outside, and scamper up the field for 10 yards. Many running backs would have simply been stuffed for no gain on the play. Even with Rex Burkhead back, Lewis should see touches, even if not in huge volume.

2017 Week 5 vs TB (7 / 53 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 10 / 0 rec)

Dion Lewis was arguably the most explosive Patriots player against the Buccaneers, outrunning Mike Gillislee on 5 less carries. His highlight was a 31 yard gain with a decent hole that Lewis squirted through, looking quicker than almost every defender near him. One wonders if this will lead to a more stable touch role going forward since his touches have been minimal.

2017 Week 4 vs CAR (4 / 18 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)

Though Lewis has taken a back seat in the backfield, he did score a touchdown on one of his few touches from 8 yards out. This is likely an anomaly and not a trend of things to come.

2017 Week 3 vs HOU (2 / 5 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 12 / 0 rec)

With Rex Burkhead out, Lewis was able to get some touches, but wasn't able to do much with them. He may take a backseat again when Burkhead is back.

2017 Week 1 vs KC (2 / 9 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Lewis was the odd man out in the backfield, only receiving a couple carries. He did look good on a 5 yard gain he had, but his role seems fairly small right now.


Latest News

Lions | Dion Lewis of interest to Lions? (Tue Feb 13, 02:27 PM) - New England Patriots impending free-agent RB Dion Lewis may be pursued by the Detroit Lions if he does enter free agency, according to The Boston Globe's Ben Volin.

Our View: The Patriots connections abound in Detroit. New head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn both worked for the Patriots, so a guy like Lewis makes for an easy fit. The Lions have had difficulty drafting a good running back, and even though this is a great draft class at the position, they may choose to go the free agent route to find their lead ball-carrier for 2018.
link to story   

Patriots | Dion Lewis on the way out? (Sat Feb 10, 09:52 PM) - New England Patriots impending free-agent RB Dion Lewis plans to test the market unless he is offered around $10 million guaranteed as part of a three-year deal, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, and Howe said the 'early vibe' is that Lewis won't be back with the Patriots in 2018.

Our View: The Patriots aren't known for throwing around money to running backs, so the vibe is likely correct. Lewis is arguably the best running back to be available on the open market this offseason with Le'Veon Bell likely staying with the Steelers.
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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.
link to story   

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