Damien Harris among bright spots for Patriots amid December losses


The New England Patriots are in a slump after having lost back-to-back games, but there are some bright spots amid this difficult period.

One of them is Damien Harris.

The third-year running back was the team's best player in Sunday's Week 16 loss to the Buffalo Bills. He ran for 103 yards with three rushing touchdowns and helped keep the Patriots in the game as the passing offense struggled.

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Harris now ranks fourth in the league in rushing touchdowns (12), seventh in rushing yards per game (65.9), ninth in rushing yards (857) and 10th in rushing yards per attempt (4.7). By many accounts, Harris is a top 10 running back -- not too bad for a third-round pick in 2019.

Here's what Harris accomplished with his offensive production Sunday:

  • First Patriots running back to tally 10-plus rushing touchdowns in a single season since LeGarrette Blount had 18 in 2016.
  • First Patriots running back with five or more 100-yard games in a single season since Corey Dillon in 2004.

And there's this interesting stat:

Harris missed Week 15 with a hamstring issue. It was the second game he's missed due to injury this season.

The Patriots need Harris healthy and in the lineup to make a deep playoff run in January. Rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson and veteran Brandon Bolden have both played well in 2021, but the Patriots offense is at its best when Harris is the lead back. 

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