New England Patriots: 3 Players that must shine vs. Browns in Week 8

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images /
2 of 4
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images /

3. Sony Michel

Sony Michel has been the primary running back for New England over the course of the last few weeks, with fellow running back James White primarily hurting the opposition in the passing game rather than on the ground. That has resulted in a string of strong performances for Michel to lead New England on the ground.

More from NFL Spin Zone

In the convincing victory over the New York Jets in Week 7, Michel finished that game with a team-best 42 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the running attack, gathering a team-high 19 carries while averaging 2.2 yards per rush attempt.

Although Michel’s numbers from that game aren’t necessarily eye-popping, the fact that he was able to get into the endzone early and often and stepped up for his team when they needed him to most was where he was most impactful in the contest.

On Sunday evening against the Browns at home, the Patriots will need Michel to step up and lead the running game once again while displaying the ability to help counter the passing game for New England and keep Cleveland’s defensive group guessing throughout the matchup.

If the Patriots are going to have success in the Week 8 showdown against the Browns and ultimately come away with a win to extend their winning streak to eight in a row to start the year, Michel will need to shine for New England in the ground attack and get back into the endzone much like he did last weekend in a win over the Jets.