Patriots

Damien Harris turns on jets to celebrate J.J. Taylor’s first NFL TD

"It was probably the fastest I ran all game."

Brandon Bolden Damien Harris J.J. Taylor Patriots
J.J. Taylor celebrates after a play with Damien Harris (left) and Brandon Bolden after scoring his first career touchdown against the New York Jets. Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images
Recent Links

Patriots running back Damien Harris had arguably the best game of his young career on Sunday against the Jets, rushing for 106 yards and two touchdowns — the first multi-TD game of his career.

He also recorded the fastest speed of any ball carrier in the league Sunday on his 32-yard run in the first quarter, according to NextGen Stats.

But even that sprint might not have been Harris’s best run of the day.

The Patriots’ top running back came flying off the sideline onto the field to celebrate with J.J. Taylor after the second-year running back scored his first NFL touchdown in the fourth quarter of the 54-13 belting of the Jets.

Advertisement:

“It was probably the fastest I ran all game,” Harris joked after the game.

Too bad NextGen Stats wasn’t tracking that one so we could find out if that was true.

But in any event, the play was just another sign of the positive atmosphere existing in coach Ivan Fears’s running back room, of which Harris is the leader.

“We’re such a tight brotherhood in (the running back’s room),” Harris said. “You see a young guy who works his butt off every single day, works just as hard, if not harder, than anybody else in the building, and you see him have that success and you know that hard work pays off. It’s a great feeling and the excitement that I had just shows the camaraderie of this team. A lot of guys were excited. Everybody was excited. That’s just a testament to how close we are as a team.”

Both Harris and Taylor had career days on the ground with two touchdowns apiece on the ground, helping lead a Patriots rushing attack the Jets seldom had much of an answer for.

But they also weren’t the only running backs who had big games as veteran Brandon Bolden led the team in catches (six) and receiving yards (79) while adding a touchdown of his own.

Bolden has taken on the primary burden as the team’s third-down receiving and pass-protection back with James White out for the season with a hip injury. He finally saw the fruits of his labor pay off Sunday.

Advertisement:

“Brandon is something else, man,” Harris said. “He’s an all-time guy. His personality is next to none, but he’s also another hard-working guy that has been in this league for a long time. He’s played a lot of football. He’s seen a lot of football. He knows how the game goes. Having Brandon has been so imperative to our group and our team as a whole because, obviously, with James being down and not having him, he’s another guy that … has more experience and has done this for a long time. We’ve all leaned on him and you know he’s been an ultimate leader for us.”

The Patriots will have a tougher challenge next week ahead against a Los Angeles Chargers defense featuring electric talents like defensive end Joey Bosa and safety Derwin James. But wins like Sunday’s against the Jets show how important the running back room is to this offense and how good the unit can look when that group is playing well.

Jump To Comments

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com