The New England Patriots are looking to bounce back in the 2021 season. If some players can make big leaps, the team might get back into the playoffs.
The New England Patriots did not enjoy the results of the 2020 NFL season. Due to this, the team went out and invested in free agents to improve the offense and the defense. They also were less passive with the most recent NFL Draft.
After missing the playoffs and also going 7-9, the more aggressive offseason is definitely understandable. Bill Belichick will certainly be looking to get the franchise back into the playoffs as they take their first step back to being a title contender. Last season left plenty of room for improvement for the players.
This season should see some young players take another step forward while also seeing a bounce back from some of the veterans.
5. Damien Harris, RB
Damien Harris had a very solid second season in the NFL and with the Patriots. He was given an extra opportunity due to injury issues with previous starter Sony Michel. Harris made the most out of his chances with 691 rushing yards and an average of 5.0 yards per carry.
Unfortunately for Harris, he had his own injuries which led to him only starting and playing in 10 games. It appears that the Patriots will continue to focus their offense on the running game no matter who is starting at quarterback. If Harris can stay durable and play 16 to 17 games, he should see a big improvement on his yards for last season.
The numbers were one thing, but Harris ran with a great downhill force last season. He rarely hesitated or ran sideline to sideline. This is a trait Bill Belichick appreciates and encourages. If he can stay healthy while continuing this style of running, it could cause the Patriots to forego the committee approach they have leaned on in the past.