By both necessity and design, that's not been the case through the first nine games of the 2018 season.
The Patriots are 7-2 and heading to Tennessee for a game they should win against the Titans. They've scored 35.5 points per game since their 1-2 start (21 points have come on returns so the offense doesn't get credit, but still . . . ). The key offensive player?
It hasn't been Gronk, who was blanketed for the first four games of the season and has been laboring physically for most of the year. It hasn't been Edelman, who's been terrific since returning from suspension but has played in just five games. And it hasn't been Brady who -- though routinely brilliant and productive -- has been a tick below his 2014-17 performance standards.
The key, the glue, the rubber cement to this offense has been running back James White.
White is tied for fourth in receptions (61), the most by any running back. He's caught 75.3 of the passes sent his way, is averaging 8.7 yards per catch and 7.74 of those yards come after the reception. He'a also carried 60 times for 235 and -- most importantly -- he's getting in the end zone with six receiving touchdowns and four more on the ground.
Josh Gordon, Trent Brown, Cordarelle Patterson, La'Adrian Waddle, even. But the headlining role has been White." data-reactid="22">There are other players around the offense who've been pleasant surprises: Josh Gordon, Trent Brown, Cordarelle Patterson, La'Adrian Waddle, even. But the headlining role has been White.
Do you agree? We threw up a poll on Twitter. Weigh in and we'll go over the results on tonight's Quick Slants at 8 p.m.
Who's the Patriots Offensive MVP through the first 9 games?#QuickSlants— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) November 8, 2018
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