Tom Brady’s assault on the NFL this season has been helped by his arsenal of weapons in the air game, including newcomer Dion Lewis.
The running back had 93 of Brady’s 356 passing yards in the 36-7 thrashing of AFC East foes the Miami Dolphins, all of which came in the first half on six catches.
Showing off his elusiveness, Lewis had 84 yards from catches, with a large chunk coming on his 16- yard touchdown, a 17-yard screen to pick up a first down on thirdand-16 and a 19-yard slip out of the backfield where he broke Miami linebacker Koa Misi’s ankles.
Lewis missed last week’s division clash with the New York Jets due to an abdominal injury, but looked as shifty as he had the rest of this season against the Dolphins.
“I’m just excited to be back out there,” Lewis said. “You know, missing last week, I was eager to get back out there with my guys and try and help the best way I can. Everybody was well prepared for this game coming off a short week, and we came to work.”
The Patriots left the ground work to bruiser LeGarrette Blount, who carried 17 times for 72 yards, but the 5-foot-8, 195-pound Lewis has also been an effective rusher when given the opportunity this year.
Lewis’ 220 yards on the ground make him one of just three players in the league with more than 200 yards rushing and 200 yards receiving, along with Atlanta’s Devonta Freeman and New Orleans’ Mark Ingram.
“He’s a dynamic player,” team-mate Rob Gronkowski said. “The dude is unreal with the way he can move. I don’t know if anyone else can move like that, the way he can cut. He’s great to have on the team. He’s a great guy and it’s amazing to have him out there with us.”
Lewis has filled a major role in the offence which was vacated when space-back Shane Vereen signed with the New York Giants in the offseason.
The Patriots took a chance on Lewis with a futures contract last year after the 25-year-old missed the entire 2013 season with a fractured fibula and couldn’t find his way onto a roster in 2014.
Along with 5-foot-10, 200-pound wide receiver Julian Edelman, Lewis provides Brady a safety blanket underneath, contrasting with the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Gronkowski, who leads the league with seven receiving touchdowns and ranks second with 13 grabs over 20 yards.
Now at 7-0, New England have an extended break before returning to face Washington in Week 9.
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