Damien Harris and the New England Patriots had the ball at around the 9-yard line and, in turn, a chance to take the lead with just about three minutes left in the game. And then Harris didn’t have the ball.
Cornerback Xavien Howard forced a fumble on Harris’ 2-yard carry in the red zone in the fourth quarter. New England was trailing by one point, with the opportunity for a touchdown or an easy field goal attempt. But Harris’ fumble ended the drive, a disappointing finish to a 100-yard game for the running back. It was the fourth fumble of the game and New England would not get the ball back. They couldn’t mount a game-winning drive behind rookie quarterback Mac Jones, falling short, 17-16.
Here are our takeaways from New England’s disappointing season opener.