Patriots rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson hits stride at perfect time

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Just as Rhamondre Stevenson, a New England Patriots rookie runningback, was about to turn around his season in early November, longtime captain David Andrews was briefly stopped.

The friendly center smiled and laughed to himself. He was pondering Stevenson. Then, he smiled and chuckled at himself.

Andrews explained, “You will figure out why it is that I am laughing after the seasons.” “He’s been a great friend.”

If things go according to the Patriots teammates’ hopes, the revelation that Stevenson made about Andrews will not come until mid February — after the Super Bowl.

As the Patriots prepare to face the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday (4:25 p.m.), they have already secured a playoff spot. ET, CBS), and it quickly became apparent that the Patriots are at their best when Stevenson is hard-charging running is a key part of their strategy.

Damien Harris, a 6-foot, 226-pound fourth round pick from Oklahoma, is paired with Stevenson to make a powerful one-two punch. Stevenson assumed control of Sunday’s 50-10 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars and ran for 107 yards. There were two touchdowns.

It was the second consecutive game in which the rookie ran for 100+ yards and scored two touchdowns. He enters Week 18 having 129 carries and 572 rushing yards (4.4/run) and five touchdowns.

Harris stated, “Obviously Montdre is an excellent player, but he’s an even greater person.”

Stevenson was inactive (on the reserves/COVID-19 roster) for the previous game, a 33-21 defeat against the Buffalo Bills in Week 16.

It’s a common experience with COVID in NFL. It was one of those cases where I tested positive, and I had to wait a few days for my results. He stated, “I’m now here.” It’s the end of the world. It’s probably the worst thing you can do to avoid being on the field with your team and not watching the TV. It’s hard to beat being out on the field with your team.

Stevenson was on the field in Week 15 when Harris was out with a hamstring injury. The Patriots lost early to the Indianapolis Colts which made it difficult for him to be relied upon. He had 10 carries for 36 yard.

Andrews described Stevenson to be a “tough” and “fast, physical child” who “when it gets in space can accomplish a lot of different things well.” Andrews sideline call of “Mondre!” suggests that the two have a fun connection. ‘Mondre! ‘Mondre!” From a game in October, when Andrews was wearing a microphone from NFL Films — became a rallying point.

Bill Belichick is impressed with Stevenson’s growth throughout the season.

“Mondre has made great strides. He only attended Oklahoma for one year. He gained a lot of knowledge there but has just continued to grow in all areas — running as well as pass protection and blitz pickup.

He’s been asked to do many things, and he’s taken the extra time to learn and embrace the details and coaching. And he has tried to accomplish it. He has. He has earned everyone’s respect because of his work ethic and willingness to assist the team in any way that he can.

Stevenson’s struggles in the early season have been well documented. He played five snaps against Miami, lost a fumble, and struggled with a blitz pickup which led to Stevenson being benched for three consecutive games.

After returning for two games, he was inactive for the late October game against New York Jets.

He was playing in seven straight games until COVID-19 stopped him.

Stevenson’s size makes him a big man, but he’s also incredibly smooth, Hunter Henry stated. He can reach his cuts. He has a great vision for a young back. He has a bright outlook.