Gillislee strong start stopped short after second career lost fumble

Gillislee strong start stopped short after second career lost fumble

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Mike Gillislee came out of the gates with power and speed. But his day came to a screeching halt when he fumbled in the first quarter.

The Patriots big back didn't start, but when he entered the game on his team's second drive he looked strong. He carried on three consecutive downs for gains of nine, five and four yards. Two plays later, on first down from the Jets 27-yard line, Gillislee took the ball again and had another sizable gain. 

Then he fumbled. 


Jets linebacker Darron Lee punched the ball free from Gillislee's grasp and Buster Skrine recovered, eventually leading to a Jets touchdown drive and a 14-0 road deficit for the Patriots. 

That was the last that MetLife Stadium would see of Gillislee for a while. He sat out nearly two full quarters -- giving way to Lewis even in goal-line situations and I-formation deployments -- and he did not return until he ran for two yards on first down with about four minutes remaining in the third quarter. 

"It's football," he said. "Things happen. It's all about what you do after that. Just focused and kept it together. Protected the ball after that."

Gillislee carried five more times in the game and finished with a total of 44 yards on 10 carries. He admitted after that it's difficult to maintain a rhythm after an extended stay on the sidelines like the one he endured, but he said he tried to make the most of his chances when he was called upon.

"I just stayed focused, just wishing for another opportunity," Gillislee said. "Coach put me back in."

In his most extended action of the season, Lewis took advantage of Gillislee's down day and capitalized with 52 yards and a goal-line touchdown on 11 carries. He forced four missed tackles, according to Pro Football Focus, which was more than any Patriots running back has forced in a single game this season. Lewis forces a missed tackle for every three attempts this season, per PFF, which is the second-best rate in the league. 

"Dion did a great job," Gillislee said. "He's a great running back. He's always focused, and he just did a great job tonight."

It seemed as though Gillislee was initially primed to play a big role against the Jets in Week 6. Bill Belichick said earlier in the week that he was sensing Gillislee was on the verge of some explosive runs, and the team's early nod toward two-back packages with Gillislee and James Develin indicated that the 5-foot-11, 219-pounder be a big part of the plan.

It didn't work out that way following Gillislee's fumble, but he didn't stay sidelined for long. And despite Lewis' emergence, it doesn't seem like Gillislee will be back on the bench for extended periods of time when the Patriots take on the Falcons at home next week. 

Why? He hasn't been a repeat offender. The lost fumble was just the second of Gillislee's career, giving him two in 233 carries over three-plus seasons.


Belichick remembers Glenn: 'A good person with good intentions'


Belichick remembers Glenn: 'A good person with good intentions'

Terry Glenn, the Patriots' top draft pick in 1996, died early Monday morning in a one-car accident in Irving, Texas. He was 43. 

Bill Belichick coached Glenn as an assistant with the Patriots during Glenn's rookie season. He was later Glenn's head coach in 2000 and 2001. Belichick traded Glenn to the Packers before the 2002 season after a tumultuous run in New England that involved legal trouble, injuries and clashes with the coaching staff.

During a conference call with reporters soon after the news of Glenn's death was published, Belichick remembered Glenn for his natural physical ability and "a good heart."

"I was pretty close with Terry," Belichick said, "and his rookie season was my first year here in '96, and so I had a lot of interaction with him and other people that were involved in his life and his upbringing separate from the Patriots. Terry's a very smart individual. Had a lot of, obviously, a lot of physical skill and talent. Could do a lot of things on the football field very naturally. And I think he was deep down inside a good person with good intentions and, you know, a good heart. Obviously it's very unfortunate. Very unfortunate passing. I mean, it's a sad day. Sad news."

According to reports, Glenn was with his fiancee at the time of the accident. She's being treated at a local hospital for unspecified injuries.

Bledsoe, other ex-Patriots react to Terry Glenn's death


Bledsoe, other ex-Patriots react to Terry Glenn's death

Drew Bledsoe was among the ex-Patriots taking to Twitter to react to Terry Glenn's untimely death on Monday.

Glenn died Monday morning after being involved in a car crash in Texas. The former Patriots wide receiver was 43.

Bledsoe reacted to Glenn's death with a series of tweets speaking highly of who he referred to as favorite receiver:


Troy Brown, Lawyer Milloy, and Scott Zolak shared their sentiments as well.