After a strong rookie season, ESPN is expecting even bigger things from New England Patriots running back Sony Michel in year two. In year one, Michel was strong but got off to a slow start and missed three games because of injuries. He still was able to finish with 931 yards and six touchdowns on just 209 rushes.

In 2019, ESPN's projections show 271 rushing attempts for 1,152 yards and 11 touchdowns. They also expect him to catch 21 balls out of the backfield for 184 yards.

Just assuming that Michel stays healthy, it makes sense that the numbers would increase, but the big question for Michel is how much competition he will have in the backfield with him. The Patriots running back room is jam-packed and Bill Belichick has always liked to use a large number of backs.

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Along with Michel, the Patriots also have James White, Rex Burkhead, and rookie Damien Harris who will be looking for opportunities.

One reason Michel was taken off the field on third down was that he struggled to pick up the blitz. If that is something he can prove that he improved on and isn't a liability, maybe he can take some of those third down snaps and improve his receiving yards even more.

Either way, if Michel continues to play like he did last year on the first two downs, it's going to be hard to take him off the field. Michel was a big reason the Patriots won the Super Bowl last year and will be again this season if they contend.