So I know there has been enough Pats-related #content here over the last few days, weeks, and months to last a lifetime, but this has been kind of sticking on my mind. It’s one of those things where I figure that if it has stayed with me this long, maybe it is worth putting out there. Whatever the case I won’t be bashing Oprah or telling the story of the time a kid I loosely knew robbed a 7-11 so I’m guessing Red will publish it and maybe you’ll read it.
Rex Burkhead does not get a lot of ink. It’s fairly understandable why. For the most part, he is a “sum of the parts greater than the whole” type back that can spell Michel when he needs a breather during one of his packages and can do the same for James White in an identical capacity. He has also been hurt a bunch so his name just hasn’t come up a lot. With all of that said, he can do a lot of things and Brady seems to be able to trust him, which one could argue is more important to TB12 than skill, athleticism, etc., so he has become a fairly important part of our offense.
Then came the AFC Championship and the worst fucking 4th down run of all time and I was ready to let Rex Burkhead to be the scapegoat, to let he and he alone hold the L, as the kids say. I mean, sure it was a bad call altogether. One of those 1-2 a game that McDaniels has been guilty of all season, a puzzling abnormality that he seems to of picked up this year. Burkhead didn’t help though. Kevin Sorensen, who the Patriots made look like a cross between Ed Reed and Sean Taylor all fucking game even though he barely belongs on an NFL roster, was shooting the gap Burkhead was supposed to run in. He could have cut back and at least tried to churn behind his O-line and see what he could get. His vision failed him though (I’m not RB savvy enough to tell you if vision is always a problem for Burkhead) and Patrick Willis Sorensen form tackled him for a loss. It stunk to high heavens.
What did Rex Burkhead do? He shook it off. He basically acted like it never happened. He went on to make more than a couple of key plays, including the game-winning touchdown run, to force us to completely forget about that garbage run. He put his head down and “did his job” as the Patriots always require and it paid dividends. To be honest I think even without the win, we would have forgiven him after the way he closed the game out.
So hats off to Rex Burkhead, our favorite ‘Husker. We’ll need him two Sundays from now more than ever. Just cut back next time, ok?