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Running wild: Can the New England Patriots new offence conquer the NFL?

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The New England Patriots surprised the football world this season by revealing Bill Bilichick's new running offense. 

When you have a legendary quarterback like Tom Brady to lead your team and with the quality of receivers in the league, it is easy to be a passing side in the NFL.

A quarterback who has thrown over 49,000 yards in his career and before this season, held the record for number of touchdowns thrown by a quarterback in the regular season with 50, it is hard to believe that the Patriots can now be classed as a running football team.

With men like Steven Ridley, LeGarrette Blount and Shane Vereen available behind the line of scrimmage, it's the Patriots rushing offence that has opposing teams thinking now more than that right arm of Brady.

Ridley, who ran for over 750 yards in the 2013 season was a key element in the Patriots new style of literally running teams over.

Safe to say LeGarrette Blount may never be welcome in Indianapolis again after his four rushing touchdown performance against the Colts in the playoffs but the man from the University of Oregon did more than just that last season.

Blount ran for the exact same number of yards as Ridley and helped the Patriots get all the way to the AFC Championship game.

But the question remains, is this rushing offense good enough to take the NFL by storm and lead the men from Boston back to the promised land of the Super Bowl?

Answer is simply, no.

Despite the incredible performance against the Colts in the playoffs, I recall two other games that just shows why the passing game should still be dominant.

Both against the Denver Broncos, the first game took place in the regular season and is the biggest comeback win in Patriots franchise history as they entered half-time 24-0 down but won it in overtime 34-31.

The game which will now be known as the 'Fumble Bowl' since between them, the teams turned the ball over an astounding seven times, not all were fumbles but certainly for the Patriots, it was the story of their first half.

The rushing offense was certainly not working for the Patriots in the first half, but after half-time the passing and free flowing football came out and led to one of the best comebacks of the season.

Brady threw three touchdowns while Brandon Boldin ran in the other one and Steven Gostkowski kicked two field goals, one being the game winner in overtime.

To the second game and it was the clash in the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field.

For the first three quarters, the Patriots seemed to be determined to beat the Broncos by running the ball, to little effect.

They only scored three points in the first three periods from a Steven Gostkowski field goal where Denver put up 20 on their conference rivals.

Finally, Bilichick decided to let Brady throw the ball and it resulted in their first touchdown of the day. 

They would then score a second touchdown when Brady himself ran it in due to having no open receivers but once again, they tried to run the ball in for a two point conversion and failed.

I am an admirer of running offenses, but Bilichick and the Patriots seemed like a kid with a new toy when they began to use it to effect, they didn't want to stop using it, and that was their downfall.

It is clear to see why the Patriots needed to change, losing many high profile receivers in pre-season surely didn't help, Wes Welker to the Broncos, Aaron Hernandez to jail and having to play most of the season without superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski due to injury.

I don't think the Patriots should forget their new rushing weapons but they should return to being a passing football team and find a way to balance Brady's arm with the running backs on the roster.

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Tom Brady
New England Patriots

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