When Ezekiel Elliott signed in New England ahead of the season, there were anxious rumblings among Rhamondre Stevenson managers about what Zeke’s presence in the backfield could mean for Patriots’ incumbent ball carrier. Through the first five weeks of the season, Zeke wasn’t a problem at all - he didn’t have a single goal line carry in that time frame. Now, that may have had something to do with the fact that New England had just one carry inside the five to go around in their first five games… which went to Rhamondre. But the Patriots’ offense has come on as of late and has looked pretty alright in two games against the Raiders and Bills – and that’s allowed Zeke to reclaim his post as a goal line back.
Over the past two weeks, Elliott has paced Rhamondre Stevenson in goal line touches 3-1, two of which came this past Sunday against the Bills. In that same game, Stevenson failed to log a goal line carry. Both backs handled one such carry apiece the week before against the Raiders, and Zeke was able to cash in with a touchdown on one carry in both games.
If you feel like we’ve seen Zeke make a living before by vulturing goal line touchdowns, it’s because he has: last year in Dallas, he went 9 straight games scoring a touchdown with just 60+ yards rushing in four of them. It’s a bit early to suggest that a similar trend could be picking up steam here - especially considering the fact that the Patriots offense still ranks in the bottom third of the league - but Zeke finding the end zone has hurt Stevenson’s weekly upside now two games in a row.