3 New England Patriots who should be immediately benched after Week 15 loss

New England fell to 3-11 with a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

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New England should bench Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott was past his prime before he came to the New England Patriots this season. You can thank the Dallas Cowboys for using him up early in his career. He used to be explosive, combining speed and power. Now, he seems to have little of either. It's easy to forget, though, that even when Elliott was leading the league in rushing (2016 and 2018), his average yards per rush have primarily declined since his rookie year, and his career number is only 4.3.

Against the Chiefs, Bill O'Brien did change his pass-happy thinking for a short time near the Kansas City goal line and gave Elliott the ball. Elliott gained a few yards but got tripped up by a leg tackle he might have easily broken a few years ago. He seems incapable of such things now. But compare Elliott to what Kevin Harris was able to do when Harris burst through the line and powered his way to the Patriots' final touchdown, and New England should just make Harris the starter for the rest of 2023.

Is Harris likely to be a Pro Bowler in the future? No. But there is no way Elliott should return next year, so New England might as well see what Harris can do in the final three games. He is only 23 years old and could be a capable back in a rotation. But New England will only know that if he can perform in games. At 3-11, the Patriots are just trying players out for next year anyway, so sit Elliott and play Harris.

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