Patriots: 3 people who need to be held responsible for near-debacle vs Texans

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse
Damien Harris, Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MA – OCTOBER 18: Damien Harris #37 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

In a game that should’ve never been this close, regardless of the circumstances, the New England Patriots came back from a 22-9 deficit to defeat the Houston Texans by a score of 25-22 in the final seconds.

A win is a win, especially in the NFL. You’re right.

But this is not how the Patriots should be handling their business on a weekly basis with a supposed superior coaching staff and more than enough talent on the field to get by.

The team’s problems didn’t arise out of nowhere on Sunday, either. These have been consistent issues dating back to 2019 as well as weeks ago when the 2021 campaign began. It’s fair to call the close game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers an outlier because, well, the Patriots’ only impressive game came against the New York Jets.

They looked undisciplined in the loss to Miami. They looked incompetent in the loss the Saints. And all of that was mixed into their narrow win against a Texans team that hardly has any of the league’s premier talent. The Patriots can’t be playing down to their competition when that competition is bottom of the barrel.

Just because New England escaped triumphant doesn’t mean people don’t need to be held responsible. Belichick needs to set these coaches and players straight before next week’s game against the Cowboys.

3. Damien Harris

Another fumble from Damien Harris on Sunday nearly cost the Patriots the game when he coughed up the ball at the goal line in the second quarter. He was inches away from the score and wasn’t properly protecting the ball. Fans are speechless, as they should be.

Harris sealed the team’s fate in Week 1 with his fumble in the Dolphins red zone, and now questions should rightfully arise about his status as the team’s bell cow back. He has only four career 100-yard rushing games. He’s shown lapses in pass protection. He misses holes. We’ve all seen it.

Though it’s only been two fumbles this year, both were extremely costly, and his second almost cost the Patriots another victory as it swung the momentum drastically, leading to another Texans touchdown.

For decades, the Patriots’ offense was predicated on a bruising, effective running game that limited turnovers. Harris has proven himself on a part-time basis, and it really hasn’t been enough.

We will see changes come Week 6?

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse