Cover32: Two game balls this week, and one will surprise you


For the last game of the season, the Patriots had two players who stood out and shone bright on a rainy afternoon in Foxboro, MA. In fact, for Sunday’s 34-20 victory over the Buffalo Bills there will be two game balls. It seems fitting with no game next week that there should be two game balls, as one is for today’s game and the other is for the “win” next week (which is getting a week off to recover—which is vital for a banged-up team like New England).
Offense and Special Teams
For running back LeGarrette Blount, playing in the NFL in 2013 was no sure thing. He was buried on the depth chart in Tampa Bay behind rookie sensation Doug Martin in 2012 and already had struggled to catch on after going undrafted after a tumultuous college career. The Patriots gave up the 229th pick and track star Jeff Demps for Blount and have certainly got the best of that deal.
While Tampa Bay waited for Demps to finish running track and come back to football, Blount slowly worked his way into the Patriots’ offense as injuries and fumbles slowed the New England rushing attack. Demps was active two games and then went on injured reserve for groin surgery. With his big game against Buffalo, that makes for 772 yards rushing in New England for Blount compared to 14 yards rushing for Demps.
On a soaked and sloppy field, Blount was too much for the Bills to handle. With 118 yards rushing at the half, Blount helped New England jump out to a 16-3 halftime lead. The highlight of the half was his 36-yard touchdown rumble...