Patriots' RB combination sparks comparison to old Buccaneers duo

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount liked the comparison.

At 6-foot and 250 pounds, he is the Patriots' replica of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Mike Alstott (6-1, 247). He's a power runner.

Then there's his running back mate, 5-foot-8, 195-pound Dion Lewis, who is much like former Buccaneers running back Warrick Dunn (5-9, 187). They are more about explosion and elusiveness.

The Alstott-Dunn combination was together from 1997-2001 and was once referred to as "Thunder and Lightning" in Tampa. If Blount and Lewis replicate what they did in Sunday's 51-17 victory over the Jaguars, a nickname for them won't be far behind.

"I love the Warrick Dunn/Mike Alstott comparison. They were two of the best that ever had that kind of running style, with the big back and the other back," Blount said. "Me and Dion kind of do our own thing and we complement each other really well. He does his things really well and I do my things really well, and that's the perfect combination. You can't beat it."

The way the Patriots split the workload between Blount and Lewis was notable Sunday.

The Patriots loosened up the Jaguars by primarily using Lewis in the first half, playing him on 28 of 36 offensive snaps. Blount wasn't much of a factor in the first half, on for just eight snaps, as the initial plan called for more spread passing formations and a sprinkling of runs from Lewis that included a dynamic 6-yard stop-and-start touchdown.

The Patriots took a 20-3 lead into halftime and then called on Blount as the closer. He played 21 snaps in the second half, compared to just seven for Lewis, powering in for three touchdowns and making plenty of fantasy football owners happy in the process.

By the end of the day, Lewis led all Patriots running backs with 35 snaps played. He finished with eight rushes for 37 yards and one touchdown, to go along with five catches for 30 yards.

Blount wasn't far behind, totaling 29 snaps and 18 carries for 78 yards and three touchdowns, while adding one reception for 14 yards.

"It's working," Blount said of the 1-2 combination. "We're 3-0."