Coming off their second-best offensive output and first turnover-free game of the season, the Patriots offense is starting to find an identity in 2020.
The rushing attack has been potent and continues to be where the team looks in critical situations. Cam Newton leads the team in rushing attempts and is tied for third in the NFL with eight rushing touchdowns. Each of the four running backs have taken turns making big plays for the offense and take pride in contributing in a number of different ways.
"Whether it's blocking, on special teams, in the passing game, whatever it is to help the team win we're happy to do that," said Rex Burkhead, who had a touchdown and some big third-down conversions against the Jets. "That's what's great about our room."
"All selfless people, people who want to work hard, to compete, make each other better," said James White of his running back teammates. "I think everybody can run the ball, catch the ball, block, run routes, whatever the coaches need us to do.
"I think we all understand that and just go out there, play good ball and help our team win."
The Patriots rank second in rushing attempts, fourth in rushing yards, second in rushing touchdowns and sixth in yards-per-rushing-attempt. As Newton has found some chemistry with Jakobi Meyers, the passing game has picked up in recent weeks.
Now the question is, how can the Patriots offense take things to the next level?
"As an offense, we've been coming together here lately and we just got to keep building," said Cam Newton on Thursday afternoon. "We can't just shoot for Sunday night to start that, it starts at tomorrow's practice. We had a great day of practice today. Just trying to master the execution and that's what it's going to come down to."
The Patriots were back in full pads for a cool and wet practice on Thursday. Stephon Gilmore, Jonathan Jones and Terrence Brooks were all absent for stretching. Gilmore had been present at Wednesday's walkthrough, but did not join the team for the open portion on Thursday.
Jones and Brooks' absences were attributed to illness on the injury report. Their presence will be something to monitor on Friday as the secondary looked depleted on Thursday.
Webex Quotes of Note
Rex Burkhead on playing the Ravens so often:
"We've played them pretty often, they're such a great team. During my time in Cincinnati I played them all the time, kind of a rivalry there. Just very familiar with them. We know it's going to be a big time game, Sunday Night Football, we're gonna have to be ready to play and start fast."
Cam Newton on Lamar Jackson:
"Lamar got a gear not many human beings got. And just to see him take off, I'm a fan of the game and if I am watching Baltimore obviously I'm watching to see what the MVP is going to do. I just respect his game so much. A lot of people do not respect the art of being able to run, protect yourself and attack the defense in as many different ways. Not taking anything away from anybody who cannot or does not decide to run. For him to be as successful and to make the impact, the big splash in this game, not many people have done it. I say Michael Vick, I say Lamar, I don't even think I'm in that stratosphere. For him to be as dominant, dynamic, explosive at the quarterback position is something that just gives so much opportunity to the younger generation to be able to see what Lamar Jackson is doing and to get home and say 'I could play the quarterback position too.'"
Jason McCourty on resiliency:
"I think at this point, even after a win, loss, good performance, bad performance, we always talk about turning the page and we're trying to do the same now. Not focusing on what's done in the past. When you play corner, or you play defensive back in his league, the one thing you have to have is a short-term memory. You have to be able to bounce back because it's not always going to be pretty, it's not always going to go your way, especially with some of the guys you have to go against week in and week out. So it's a matter of just trying to be resilient, trying to work and get better. Just be able to show up and compete every week."