Belichick gives Stevenson huge praise after win vs. Lions: ‘Love him'


New England Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson gave the best performance of his NFL career in Sunday's 29-0 win over the Detroit Lions, and his head coach was very appreciative of the effort.

Stevenson ran for a career-high 161 yards on 25 carries (6.4 per attempt), including a 49-yard run in the first quarter. He also caught two passes for 14 yards. 

The Lions came into this Week 5 game allowing 165 rushing yards per game, and Stevenson made them pay all day long.

The Patriots dressed seven wide receivers against the Lions, leaving them pretty thin at running back. After Damien Harris left the game in the second quarter with a hamstring injury, Stevenson was the only healthy running back available.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick lauded Stevenson for carrying the load offensively and stepping up when his team needed it.

"You gotta give him a ton of credit," Belichick said in his postgame press conference. "With Damien out, we only carried two running backs for the game, and he put it all on his shoulders and finished with a couple first downs at the end of the game in the 4-minute offense.

"He's always good. He does a great job with the ball in his hands. He's a strong runner but he can make people miss. He's a good football player. I'm so glad we have him. He had a couple blitz pickup plays right up the middle where he stepped up there. He's a good all-around back. Love him. Love him."

Love him? Wow, we don't often hear Belichick give that kind of praise to a player. Usually it's something about how no one works harder than that particular player. But these words were a little different. Belichick absolutely loves what Stevenson brings to the offense, not only in the rushing attack but also the little (but also important) things like blitz pickup in the passing game.

We should expect Stevenson to get plenty more carries in Week 6 when the Patriots play a Cleveland Browns defense that is giving up 4.7 yards per rushing attempt through five games.

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