If you’ve been watching the Patriots the past few weeks, you’ve definitely noticed Damien Harris. Harris’ presence has been much appreciated in Sony Michel's absence. As I am writing this, the Patriots have just defeated the Ravens 23-17. After a Bills loss at the hands of Arizona, this looks like a very important win. The Patriots will need to be perfect to be in playoff contention, and Damien Harris is a big part of that.
Damien Harris vs. Baltimore
Tonight vs Baltimore, Harris ran for 121 yards on 22 touches tonight. In the first half, he gashed the Baltimore defense for large gains. Despite slowing down a bit in the second half, his impact was still felt. Harris’ presence in the backfield helped open up QB runs and the passing game. Later into the game, Cam Newton was able to complete a pass to Jakobi Meyers for a crucial first down. The Patriots were able to contain the Ravens last-ditch effort, as a 4th down Lamar Jackson throw feel incomplete.
Harris Deserves the RB1 Designation
As the Patriots season rolls on, they should stick with Damien Harris as RB1. Harris is a much more consistent and explosive runner compared to Sony Michel. Harris has also caught a few passes, and could possibly be more involved in the passing game. In addition, Harris can open up the passing game for the Patriots like tonight, where he forced the Ravens to adjust after halftime. Clearly, Harris has been the silver lining to Sony Michel’s injury. Some may say it’s unfair for Harris to take Michel’s job without a real chance for competition, but I object. I think the Patriots need to do what’s best for the team going forward, and I think even Sony Michel himself would agree. If Harris can maintain his explosiveness and keep himself healthy, he is the clear RB1. His presence also adds yet another item for opposing defenses to game-plan around.
To conclude, Damien Harris is the Patriot's future, and they need to keep giving him the majority of the carries. If Sony Michel takes his spot back after returning from IR, I don’t think I’m the only one who’d be disappointed. Harris has established himself as an NFL-level runner, and he has been excellent.
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