Throughout the 2019 season, the New England Patriots have been performing well on defense to post a 9-1 record through 11 weeks.
But when it comes to offense, specifically running the ball this season, the Patriots are among the league’s worst teams. New England averages less than 100 yards rushing per game. Given how talented their group of running backs has shown to be, the number is shocking for more reasons than that.
Part of this drop in production can be attributed to the various injuries on the offensive line all season. Starting center David Andrews, who was likely the best run blocker among the core five linemen, is out for the season after a bout with blood clots. Starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn has also been missing since Week 2 when he was placed on injured reserve suffering from turf toe.
But with Wynn officially back, and the Patriots receiving corps ailing now may be the time for the Patriots to switch things up offensively and play a more run-oriented style. Who benefits most from this? Sony Michel, of course, who has really struggled with his vision and finding room to gallop.
How does that change now that Wynn is back? The re-integration of the second-year offensive lineman could be the most meaningful addition New England makes this season, with Michel feeling the brunt of that impact.
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Sony Michel Matchup vs Dallas
When Michel and Wynn played together at the University of Georgia during the 2017 season, Michel enjoyed the best year of his collegiate career. Michel rushed for 1,227 yards, averaging 7.9 yards a carry and rushing for 16 touchdowns.
That came with Wynn starting at left tackle and earning Second-Team All-American honors for his performance. With both now in the pros, the Patriots feel they may be able to recreate some of that magic now that Wynn is healthy.
As for the Patriots opponent this week, the Cowboys have been in the middle of the pack all season when it comes to stopping the run. Yielding just 105 yards on the ground per game, Dallas has had varied success against rushing teams this season. With Michel’s ability to hit holes when they’re open, he could make it into the Dallas secondary on a few occasions.
There’s confidence in the Patriots camp that Wynn’s return will allow the offense to kickstart into gear, something that’s been missing since the early portion of the season.
Should You Start Michel vs Dallas
Although he hasn’t shown much through the early portion of the season, Michel is a powerful back with the ability to excel on a hefty amount of touches. That all depends, however, on whether he gets the right protection.
With Wynn back and the rest of the offense line fairing well, Michel could figure things out in Week 12 against Dallas. Consider rolling with Michel in the RB2 slot this week, especially given the amount of pass-catching snaps he’s seen over the past several games.
If he has a big game on Sunday, it could be a sign of good things to come for Michel down the stretch. This could be a confidence-boosting game for the young running back, one he desperately needs.