BOSTON (CBS) — We have finally reached Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season, which is the beginning of a new era for the New England Patriots. In addition to all the unknown that will go with teams playing football during a pandemic, the Patriots are going through quite the change in personnel with Cam Newton taking over for the departed Tom Brady.
No one really knows what to expect in 2020, from both a Patriots standpoint and a league standpoint, but we’re going to take a crack at it anyways. The WBZ-TV and CBS Boston Sports team will be answering a handful of questions regarding the Patriots as we count down to kickoff Sunday afternoon against the Miami Dolphins.
Continuing with our stats-based questions, this time around we’re tackling the production of New England’s running backs. The Sports team tries to figure out who will lead the Pats in rushing yards and in rushing touchdowns.
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV Sports
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports
Tough question here. Health is the biggest factor in answering this. With Damien Harris hitting IR, Sony Michel gets the opportunity starting the season as a primary back. However, if he struggles, Rex Burkhead can step in. Only question is can he stay upright? After that, James White will be the sure-handed pass catching option once again. Based on this I’ll take White to lead the way.
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
I thought Damien Harris would be the Pats lead back in many ways but all of a sudden he has injured his hand and will miss some time. I still think Harris will make contributions to the team but Rex Burkhead will lead the team in touchdowns at that position. I’m gonna guess and say Sony Michel will lead the running back room in yards.
Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
They’re going to ride Sony Michel for all he’s worth, so he’ll lead the team in yards for the third straight year. As for rushing touchdowns … let’s roll with Cam Newton. We’re assuming a lot with his health and his willingness to be the runner he’s been in the past, I suppose. But why not go all in on the Cam resurgence and predict another double-digit rushing TD season.
Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
Sony Michel has been the team’s workhorse out of the backfield in his first two seasons, and his third should be no different. I like him to have his first 1,000-yard season of his career, leading the charge for the Patriots.
As for touchdowns, let’s go with Rex Burkhead, who will get plenty of looks at the goal line and frustrate fantasy football owners all season long.
You can watch the Patriots kick off their 2020 season Sunday on WBZ-TV — the home of the New England Patriots! Coverage begins Friday night at 7 p.m. with Patriots All Access and kicks off Sunday at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay. The Patriots and the Dolphins square off at 1 p.m., and stick to WBZ-TV after the game for Cam Newton’s first postgame press conference on Patriots 5th Quarter!