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RB James White - New England Patriots

5-9, 204Born: 2-3-1992College: WisconsinDrafted: Round 4

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Photo: David Butler II, 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

19 vs TEN 32 4 11 1 7 4 29 1 0 16
20 vs JAX 0 3 4 1 5 3 22 0 0 8.6
21 at PHI 45 7 45 1 6 2 21 0 0 12.6
21 at PHI PROJ-Dodds * 5 * * 3 * * * *
21 at PHI PROJ-Tremblay * 5 * * 3 * * * *
21 at PHI PROJ-Bloom * 3 * * 4 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2017 Week 20 vs JAX (3 / 4 / 1 rush, 5 / 3 / 22 / 0 rec)

Though the Patriots went pass heavy, White wasn't heavily involved beyond his short 1 yard touchdown scamper. This was because the wide receivers surprisingly dominated the Jaguars' elite cornerbacks.

2017 Week 19 vs TEN (4 / 11 / 1 rush, 7 / 4 / 29 / 1 rec)

The Titans were amongst the league worst when it came to running back receiving, so it made sense James White was involved. And involved he was, scoring two touchdowns despite relatively limited touches. His first score was a short shovel pass from Tom Brady, and the blocking and execution were on point. The second was a run to the left where White shed a tackler and squirted through a narrow opening to just make it into the end zone. His touches will continue to be minimal especially if Rex Burkhead is back next week.

2017 Week 14 vs MIA (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 11 / 1 rec)

As with the last few weeks, White played a bit role on offense, even with the Pats in throw-only mode for much of the second half, which was surprising. White did score the only passing touchdown of the day on a play action flat route.

2017 Week 13 vs BUF (5 / 18 / 0 rush, 6 / 4 / 32 / 0 rec)

With the run game and defense dominating the Bills, James White wasn't needed much, as the passing game was not the focal point on the day. Given that Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis can play the passing game if needed, White's role looks to be a bit one beyond obvious passing scenarios.

2017 Week 12 vs MIA (3 / 13 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 2 / 0 rec)

White drew a penalty on an early target and had a third-down conversion later, but is only a very minor part of the offense.

2017 Week 11 vs OAK (5 / 13 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

James White was barely used. He received a few carries late in the game, but was a non-factor against an Oakland defense that has been gashed by pass catching running backs.

2017 Week 10 vs DEN (2 / 7 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 11 / 1 rec)

White didn't need to be involved much in the game, as the Patriots controlled it from the outset. He did score a short touchdown on a beautiful stutter move, but beyond that, wasn't heard from much.

2017 Week 8 vs LAC (1 / 2 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 85 / 0 rec)

Once again squarely involved as a receiver, White actually led the Patriots in receiving yardage. His 27 yard run was a nice juke of a cornerback once he had the ball in space, allowing him to pick up a first down and much more. He also had a great catch as he was being drilled by a defender where he somehow hung onto the ball.

2017 Week 6 vs NYJ (3 / 23 / 0 rush, 7 / 4 / 22 / 0 rec)

By now, you know the story for James White - limited carries, and a few short backfield catches. There was not much to write home about with his 7 touches, though he did have healthy gains on all 3 of his carries.

2017 Week 5 vs TB (2 / 3 / 0 rush, 9 / 7 / 57 / 0 rec)

Surprise surprise - James White was often Tom Brady's safety outlet, being used in the passing game more than anything else. He did have a nice 20+ yarder, but other than that, his big play upside remains limited due to the nature of the route he primarily runs. In fact, White does run some of the shorter routes Julian Edelman used to run.

2017 Week 4 vs CAR (1 / 7 / 0 rush, 12 / 10 / 47 / 0 rec)

White was heavily involved as a receiver, but was not able to do much, as the Panthers covered him well. He was a last gasp outlet for Tom Brady on several passes, as Brady was constantly under pressure throughout the day. White will remain involved in the offense if shootouts continue to occur due to poor defense.

2017 Week 3 vs HOU (5 / 17 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 11 / 0 rec)

Surprisingly, even though the Patriots were pass heavy, James White was fairly limited on the day. The biggest part of this was the Patriots playing a medium to deep passing game, as well as a combo of Cooks, Gronk and Hogan firing on all cylinders. The running game also got nothing on the ground, but White usually isn't a big factor in that area.

2017 Week 2 vs NO (2 / 11 / 0 rush, 8 / 8 / 85 / 0 rec)

As expected, in this high scoring affair, White was mostly involved in the passing game, catching 8 passes and being Brady's preferred target, particularly when Brady was under pressure. Should the Patriots receiving corps continue to be a skeleton crew, White remains a likely volume target in the passing game.

2017 Week 1 vs KC (10 / 38 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 30 / 0 rec)

Despite having running back competition, White operated as the clear third down and hurry up back, even splitting wide at times. White also ran the ball 10 times, which indicates he'll be involved in the offense going forward. One of his blemishes was a route which wasn't run with proper depth, allowing Kansas City to tackle him just before the first down marker. With injuries to Edelman and Danny Amendola, White may be relied upon even more for third downs, which is critical for his forward outlook.


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