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Stat Shocker: Patriots Lead NFL in Major Category Through Week 3

Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson have been the most consistent aspects of the New England Patriots' offense.

Consistency has evaded the New England Patriots in the early stages of the 2022 NFL season, but one group has managed to avoid the wheel-spinning toil and drudgery.

Through three weeks, the Patriots rushing attack headlined by the dual power unit of Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson leads the league in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, coming in at 24.1 percent per Football Outsiders. 

The main statistic used on Football Outsiders, DVOA breaks down the entire season play-by-play, comparing success on each play to the league average based on a number of variables including down, distance, location on field, current score gap, quarter, and opponent quality. In essence, New England's DVOA suggests Harris and Stevenson have put up good performances against better-than-average run defenses.

The Patriots (1-2) have been befallen by several offensive shortcomings even long before they found out they'd be missing franchise quarterback Mac Jones in the immediate future. Jones was struggling as it was, to the tune of three interceptions in New England's Week 3 loss in Baltimore while his receivers have struggled to generate positive, lasting momentum. 

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But Harris and Stevenson have kept New England lingering in games, the two uniting for 64 carries, 305 yards and three touchdowns.. In advanced categories, the Patriots are tied for fourth in the NFL with eight broken tackles and have picked up 153 yards after contact. In more traditional stats, they're one of six teams to score at least four times on the ground, with Jones adding one prior to his injury. 

The Patriots could further expand their running game until Jones heals up (which could be sooner rather than later?) to keep their offense afloat. Their 81 attempts are tied for ninth-most as Week 4 contests get underway on Thursday night. New England's first test to showcase the attack arrives on Sunday when they battle the Green Bay Packers on the road (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox). 

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags 

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