New England Patriots: 3 players to keep an eye on vs Miami Dolphins

Damien Harris #37 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Damien Harris #37 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Damien Harris #37 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots player to watch No. 1: Damien Harris

While Mac Jones has been the center of attention for the past few weeks, it’s become clear that Damien Harris will be the focal point of the offense for the start of the season. Harris has quickly emerged as New England’s top running back, and he should be in line for 20+ carries Sunday regardless of how the game plays out.

Jones is going to be eased into his first NFL action, meaning Harris will handle to the bulk of rushing duties to help keep the offense moving. Miami’s run defense isn’t anything special, and considering how good New England’s offensive line looks, there should be room for Harris to run come Sunday afternoon.

If Harris can establish the ground game for New England, they will win this game. Not only will he be moving the chains on the ground, but he opens up the threat of the play-action pass, which is where the previously mentioned tight ends come into play. Harris is the key to unlocking New England’s offense against Miami this week.

As such, he’s the most pivotal player to watch in this game. Harris showed the ability to be one of the top running backs in the league last season in limited action. Now that he’s been given the keys to the Patriots offense, it’s time to see whether he can build off last season’s hot finish.

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The magic number for Harris in this one is 100 yards. If Harris can hit that threshold, and maybe even find the endzone too, New England will come out of this one with a 1-0 record. Many eyes will be on Jones in this one, but the real player to watch will be lining up behind him in this one, and there’s a good chance his performance will win or lose this game for the Pats.