Rhamondre Stevenson, JJ Taylor top NFL in advanced rushing metric during preseason

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Two Pats RBs led NFL in advanced rushing metric during preseason originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Depth in the offensive backfield for the New England Patriots remains strong, even after trading former first-round pick Sony Michel last week.

Rhamondre Stevenson has looked the part of a breakout star all summer long for New England, and the advanced numbers have backed up the rookie from Oklahoma. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, the fourth-round draft pick led the league in rushing yards over expected during the three-game exhibition season.

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Rushing yards over expected, or RYOE, is defined as the difference between actual rushing yards and expected rushing yards on an individual play or series of plays.

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Stevenson amassed 216 actual rushing yards on the ground on 30 carries for the Patriots through three games, scoring five touchdowns.

For good measure, Stevenson's stablemate JJ Taylor finished second in the NFL over the preseason in RYOE. Taylor, a former undrafted rookie out of Arizona who appeared in six games for New England in 2020, had 179 rushing yards on 23 attempts over three preseason games.

The presence of Stevenson and Taylor undoubtedly combined to help make Michel expendable. But along with mainstays Damien Harris and James White, plus an occasional Brandon Bolden sighting, the Patriots still have remarkable depth in the backfield.