BOSTON (CBS) — To say Dwayne Allen’s first season with the Patriots began on a disappointing note would be a bit of an understatement. The tight end caught zero passes through his first eight games with the team, and the Patriots’ re-acquisition of Martellus Bennett figured to perhaps bury Allen on the depth chart.
Yet Allen ended up getting 20 snaps in Sunday night’s blowout win over the Broncos, and he recorded his first catch — an 11-yard touchdown reception to put the Patriots up 27-9 before halftime.
After the 41-16 win, Allen was asked about the feeling of getting his first touchdown with the Patriots out of the way.
“Getting that first catch out of the way,” Allen corrected. “I felt like the ball was beating me up, or me beating the ball up. I wasn’t catching it. But it felt amazing. It felt amazing to get that monkey off my back and start heading in a positive direction.”
While Allen had been unable to contribute in the passing game prior to Sunday, he had been working hard as a blocker and on special teams. After averaging roughly two catches per game through his first five NFL seasons, that was quite an adjustment.
But Allen said that it should serve as a lesson that football remains a team sport.
“I hope it’s a lesson for a lot of young guys in this league,” Allen said. “I came into this league wide-eyed and bushy-tailed and I thought that everything was going to be given to me. You come here to a winning football club and you learn that it takes self-sacrifice. You have to give up yourself for the benefit of the team, and that’s what it’s all about. Sometimes you’re rewarded in a touchdown.”
And in typical Patriots fashion, Allen was sharing in the joy after the win.
“It felt great,” he said of the touchdown catch. “It felt even better to block and see [Dion Lewis] run into the end zone later in the game.”