Benched in favor of younger pass rushers in Pittsburgh, James Harrison came to New England having played a grand total of 40 snaps in the 2017 season.
The 39-year-old Harrison recorded sacks on the final two plays of the game, a 26-6 New England victory. But for now, just know that this team is on a roll heading into the playoffs and Harrison is where he's happy. He's done talking about his departure from the Steelers. Although Harrison didn't start the game, he was on the field for 28 of a possible 57 defensive snaps. Towards the end of the fourth quarter, Harrison sacked Jets quarterback Bryce Petty on consecutive plays, the first of which being a strip-sack.
At this juncture, there is no set plan in what manner that Harrison will be used with the Patriots. When Harrison lines up across from his former teammates, there's going to be some heated emotions on both sides of the ball.
The Patriots' edge spot on defense has been an evolving picture all season, with coach Bill Belichick having noted that the team has worked with nearly 10 different players because of a combination of injuries and personnel decisions that didn't pan out. Calling himself a competitor to the core, Harrison said he simply wanted a chance to play. The only issue, it was a New England Patriots one.
The Patriots needed the help at the edge position on defense and Harrison provided it.