Photo: USA Today
After costing his team a chance to win against Miami in Week 1, Damien Harris needed to have a bounce back week.
Not only did he have an important bounce back performance in a 25-6 win over the Jets, he provided Patriots fans with one of the most impressive runs they’ve seen since the days of clock killin’ Corey Dillon.
Harris finished the day with 62 yards on 16 carries, but it was the power and pure determination he showed on the 26-yard third quarter touchdown run while making seemingly all 11 Jets defenders miss that showed everyone why he’s now being relied on as the go-to guy in the backfield. If you were at training camp at all this summer, you know Harris runs hard every single time he touches the ball in drills or team activities, but even this one made you say “wow.”
“Damien is one of our hardest working players,” coach Belichick said following the win. “He worked hard this week, prepared hard and he’s pretty consistent.”
The 26-yard rumble from Harris in the third quarter wasn’t just a big run for him, but the whole team. As a unit, this offense is still learning how to operate consistently, so when you saw the entire offensive line and quarterback Mac Jones down around the goal line pushing the pile to get Harris in the end zone, it was a small yet powerful example of the camaraderie that’s developing.
“It was definitely a statement for the offense and for him,” James White said of the emphatic run. “Coming off last week, I know he was motivated to get back out there and to have a run like that. To finish in the endzone, I think it was great for him. Obviously, there is a lot of stuff we can correct out there, but that play was huge.”
As you’d expect, Harris was only concerned with the team getting its first win of the year rather than his own personal comeback story after the brutal finish last weekend.
“First and foremost, we got our first win of the season. Everyone is excited about that,” Harris said. “That’s the main focus. We lost a game last week and we won the game this week. It’s what we are focused on. We have to get ready to do it again. We’re playing a tough team next week, so we have to get ready to prepare so we can hopefully win again.”
Every single player that spoke to the media this week had Harris’ back after that fumble and he rewarded their faith in him with a run none of them will soon forget.
“(I was) very determined, obviously,” Harris added. “Anytime you touch the ball, you want to get it in the (end zone). It was a great play. Everybody was blocking their butts off. I got a lot of help from a lot of guys. Apparently, I got some help from Mac Jones, too. I’ll have to watch the film to see that. It was a great play. It was just great to have that moment with the team. Everyone was feeling the energy. Everybody was excited, so it was truly a great moment.
Photo: USA Today