James Harrison makes his presence felt in first game with Patriots

  • Stephen Knox
  • All 22
Dec 31, 2017

New England Patriots outside linebacker James Harrison looked on Sunday like a player itching to get on a football field.

Harrison did not play nine of 15 games for the Pittsburgh Steelers this season, and asked for his release multiple times. It was granted shortly before the Steelers Week 16 matchup against the Houston Texans.

The Patriots signed Harrison on Wednesday, and he made his presence felt in his first game with his new team. Towards the end of the fourth quarter, Harrison sacked Jets quarterback Bryce Petty on consecutive plays, the first of which being a strip-sack.

Harrison had tallied a single sack on the season prior to Week 16.

James Harrison gets the SACK! #GoPats pic.twitter.com/eyiTRFYNir

— NFL (@NFL) December 31, 2017

Defense, specifically the front seven, is an area where the Patriots can be exploited during the playoffs. However, if Harrison can be a productive pass rush specialist for the Patriots during the post-season, it could give their team a dimension that would be difficult to prepare for on short notice and with limited film.

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