Jaylen Samuels had the game of his life Sunday against the New England Patriots. We wish we were exaggerating.
The Pittsburgh Steelers running back rushed for 142 yards on 19 carries in his team's 17-10 win over the Patriots at Heinz Field.
That breakout performance earned Samuels a postgame interview with NBC Sports' Peter King, who asked the 22-year-old rookie if he'd ever had that heavy of a workload before.
"No, I never rushed for 100 yards on the ground," Samuels told King.
That's somewhat surprising, but fair. What about 19 carries?
“No, I never had that … I never had 19 carries in a game," Samuels said.
OK, maybe not in college, but surely you had a 19-plus-carry game in high school ... right?
“No, not in high school," Samuels replied.
That means Samuels literally had the best rushing performance of his football life Sunday against the Patriots. Ouch.
We should add some context here: The fifth-round draft pick racked up 1,000 total yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior at N.C. State but was used as a dual-threat running back/wide receiver, meaning he never saw more than 12 rush attempts in a game.
Samuels played a similar role at Mallard Creek (N.C.) High School, scoring 31 total touchdowns but dividing them evenly between rushing (16) and receiving (15).
Of course, that doesn't change the fact that New England allowed a third-string running back to gash its defense for 7.5 yards per carry. Even the lowly Oakland Raiders held Samuels to 28 yards on 11 carries in Week 14 after he filled in for the injured James Conner (himself a backup to Le'Veon Bell).
Here's one more stat that highlights the Patriots' ineffectiveness at stopping the run lately:
How’s this for a stat: The Patriots have allowed 7.64 yards per carry over the last three games. That’s the worst three-game mark in franchise history and the fourth-worst by any NFL team since the merger, per @pfref.— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) December 17, 2018
Bill Belichick's club is used to making history -- just not like this.
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