FOXBORO - Through 14 games, BenJarvus Green-Ellis has 635 yards on 171 carries. That 3.7 average and the fact two games remain pretty much rule out the possibility of the hard-running BJGE reaching 1,000 yards for the second consecutive year. He's run for 50 yards. In his past three games. Only once did he top 100 yards (136 against the Jets) and he's only carried more than 20 times once (also against the Jets). Last season, the Patriots running game and BJGE were more impactful. Beginning November 14 in Pittsburgh, he ran for 87, 96, 59, 82, 87, 38, 104 and 80. He didn't have a YPC average under 4 yards in any of those games. What's changed? Well, one element is the number of balls directed to a full strength Wes Welker and a blossoming Rob Gronkowski. They have been the surest thing in the Patriots offense. Additionally, there hasn't been much bang from the running game in general this season. Danny Woodhead ran for 547 yards and averaged 5.6 yards per carry. This year, he's got 326 and is averaging 4.5. Sunday in Denver was a departure from that. Green-Ellis, Woodhead and rookie Stevan Ridley combined for 132 yards. The running back by committee approach the Patriots have used all year finally showed real dividends. When this three-headed monster was mentioned to Green-Ellis, he interrupted. "Four. Kevin (Faulk) played too. Ok, four-headed monster. "Five, actually.When Shane's back there," Green-Ellis added, referring to another rookie, Shane Vereen. Okay, five. However you slice it, thecarries are being shared. Wouldn't it beuseful sometimes for one back to get his mojoworking instead of guys being shuffled in and out?"Whatever it is, we're just gonna go out there and try to win the game," he shrugged. "That's the ultimate goal. From the backfield standpoint, all five of us are ready to go out there and contribute to get a W."It doesn't so much help the numbers though, does it?"This is not an individual sport," Green-Ellis smiled. "This is not golf or tennis or anything like that. When it's a team sport, you have to do what's best for the team but as an individual, what's best for the team, you do. End of story."
Green-Ellis doesn't mind sharing load
December 21, 2011, 1:09 am