Sony Michel and James White both enjoyed standout performances Thursday night vs the Colts, and Peter King took notice of the Patriots' dynamic running back duo.
King has Michel and White pegged as his Offensive Players of the Week, along with Adam Thielen (WR, Vikings) and Isaiah Crowell (RB, Jets).
In the Patriots’ 1-2 start, Michel and White, combined, averaged 17 touches from scrimmage per game for just 72 yards. (Michel did not play in the first game of the season.) Scoring at a typical Patriots pace in the last two wins (38 against Indy on Thursday night, 38 against Miami the previous Sunday), Michel and White proved how invaluable a balanced offense can be for New England. The two backs, combined, averaged 36 touches from scrimmage per game for 206 yards. In the two decisive victories, Michel’s 210 rushing yards, plus White’s 145 chains-moving receiving yards, promise to be a good road map for the New England offense the rest of the way.
Michel and White passed the test for NBC Sports Boston's own Phil Perry as well, earning an A- on this week's report card.
Yes, the Patriots are light at wide receiver. Yes, it makes sense they'd be on the lookout for help, especially for the first four weeks when Julian Edelman is serving his four-game PED suspension.
Well, how would Demaryius Thomas strike you?
At least one person -- Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio -- thinks there's a chance the five-time Pro Bowl wideout winds up in Foxboro:
"Here's a name to keep an eye on," Florio told NBC Sports colleague Peter King today. "Now there may be nothing to this whatsoever, but I've detected just a weird sense coming out of Denver as it relates to Demaryius Thomas. He's a guy that was drafted by [Patriots offensive coordinator] Josh McDaniels (when McDaniels was the Broncos' head coach), he's a guy who ultimately could be available, $8 1/2 million (in salary for 2018). We've seen [Broncos executive vice-president and general manager] John Elway do this, where he'll squeeze a guy very, very late, maybe try to trade him, and if that all else fails, out he goes like T.J. Ward last year.
"But with the young receivers there, Courtland Sutton for example, if these guys can develop and Elway looks at it and says, '8 1/2 million, that's too much to pay,' it would not shock me if a guy like Thomas ends up joining [New England's] depth chart. [It's] late in the game, but still in time to make an impact with the Patriots."
King doesn't necessarily agree -- he doesn't see Thomas leaving Denver before the start of the season -- but he admits: "Nothing will shock me with John Elway at all."
So stay tuned.
Robert Kraft tells Sports Illustrated's Peter King that he "absolutely" believes Bill Belichick will coach the Patriots next season and an ESPN report describing Pats dysfunction is "a total fabrication and fiction."
King writes: "In a telephone interview, Kraft disputed all tenets of the story." In particular, Kraft told King that the ESPN report by Seth Wickersham that included detailing a half-day meeting between the Patriots coach and owner on the subject of backup quarterback Jimmy Garroppolo is “a total fabrication and fiction. I am telling you, it’s fiction.”
Wickersham told King he stands by his story.
Kraft, Belichick and Tom Brady released a joint statement in response to the story Friday, denying its claims and concluding with the phrase "we stand united."
Earlier Saturday, in response to a New York Daily News report that turmoil in Foxboro has given Belichick "an opening" to seek the New York Giants head coaching job, ESPN's Adam Schefter shot that down.
Said Schefter: “First of all, if we are going to talk about Bill Belichick to the New York Giants, he has time left on his contract. You think Robert Kraft is just going to let him out? And you think if Bill Belichick wants to quit, they are just going to let him go to the Giants? And do you think Bill Belichick at his age right now wants to go take over a start-over, rebuilding job? And do you think he wants to take over a team where has a new GM that he hasn’t worked with? And do you think he wants to take over a situation where there is not a quarterback? I am sure the 49ers before they traded for Jimmy Garoppolo wanted Aaron Rodgers to come back home, or Tom Brady to come back home. I am sure there are many situations like that.”
Listen below for NBC Sports Boston Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran's assessment of the Kraft-Belichick-Brady drama in Quick Slants The Podcast: