New England Patriots: Damien Harris fueling the ‘ground and pound’ attack

New England Patriots Damien Harris. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots Damien Harris. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports /

The New England Patriots running back Damien Harris put on clinic on the ground helping his team to a 23-17 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

In order for the New England Patriots to upset the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night, they had to do it with an effective running attack, and they did just that behind second year running back Damien Harris.

Entering the game averaging 5.1 yards per carry, Harris continued his power running ways by plunging through the Ravens defensive line time and time again on his way to a career-high 121-yard rushing performance on 22 carries.  That is 5.5 yards per carry which kept Cam Newton and the Patriots offense in manageable third down situations all night.

Though it took a total team effort to knock off Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens, it was Damien Harris who set the tone early in the game with his downhill running.  On a damp, cold night in Foxborough, Harris not only heated things up for the Patriots on the ground, his own confidence is soaring and that is a very good thing going forward.

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"“It’s huge,” Harris said of this 121-yard performance, via  “Helps me build confidence to continue to go out there and try to do my job.  I wouldn’t have had any of the success I had tonight without the guys up front, and that’s first and foremost.  I have to give all that to them.  They’ve been so good all year and they’ve really been the anchor of our offense and they’re what makes us go.  I can’t even put it into words how important our offensive line is to our time.”"

While giving much of the credit to the Patriots’ offensive line, Damien Harris couldn’t help but be on “cloud nine” after his performance in prime time and he should be.

Not only did he help his team win, which is always his main focus, he further solidified himself as the featured back in the New England Patriots offense.  With Sony Michel set to come back of IR, the Patriots do have a good problem on their hands.

With Rex Burkhead also serving as a reliable playmaker out of the backfield, the big question going forward is where Michel will fit on this running back depth chart with the way Damien Harris has emerged.  Let’s not forget Michel had his own 100-yard performance before going onto IR, so the competition may be good for both running backs who appear to strive off the success of one another.

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But, for now, we’ll let Bill Belichick worry about the Sony Michel situation.  Patriots fans are seeing something special arising with Damien Harries, especially after a breakout performance that only gives him more confidence in a New England Patriots offense that will obvious feature the running game moving forward.