Damien Harris Fumbles on Game-Winning Drive as Patriots Lose, 17-16, to Dolphins in Mac Jones’ NFL Debut

Patriots RB Damien Harris

The New England Patriots fell in Mac Jones’ NFL debut to the Miami Dolphins Sunday, as they fell on behalf of Damien Harris and his game-losing fumble in the dying minutes.

It was a rough first three drives for New England. They punted on their first time out, while Miami got into the end-zone with a Tua Tagovailoa three-yard rushing score to cap off a ten-play, 80-yard drive. Rhamondre Stevenson, just four plays into the following drive, fumbled after catching a short pass from Mac Jones — it was picked up by former Patriot Eric Rowe.

New England was able to get on the board however after holding Miami to a three-and-out, as Nick Folk booted a 27-yard field goal just minutes into the second quarter to make it 7-3.

A trio of punts from the two teams followed the field goal, but in the dying minutes of the first half, Mac Jones tossed his first career (regular season) touchdown to Nelson Agholor with a seven-yard dime, just two minutes after finding him for a 25-yard pass which gave the Pats the 10-7 lead.

The Dolphins took over with just over two minutes left, and salvaged a game-tying field goal at the very end of the first half, making it 10-10 after 30 minutes of action.

Miami opened the third quarter with the football, and after a 30-yard pass to Devante Parker, Tagovailoa found Jaylen Waddle for a three-yard touchdown pass, which gave the Fins the 17-10 lead.

New England, on a 14-play, time-consuming drive that lasted eight minutes, salvaged a 42-yard field goal from the foot of Folk. The drive was kept alive after Jones, at his own 29, found James White on third-and-11 for a first down.

The Pats defense forced the Fins to a three-and-out, and they picked up another field goal with a 33-yarder from Folk to put New England within one point. They were then able to get the stop they needed with eight minutes left in the affair, as the Patriots’ lethal pass rush got to Tagovailoa, forcing him to hurl an interception to Pats CB Jonathan Jones.

The running game led the team downfield, but with 3:18 left, Damien Harris carried it up the middle, only for him to lose control of the football and commit a game-losing turnover at the 11-yard line of Miami.

As much as the Pats tried to ice the clock with timeouts, the Dolphins picked up a first down on third-and-1 and were able to kneel their way to victory.


  • QB Mac Jones: 29/39, 281 YDS; 1 TD
  • RB Damien Harris: 23 CAR, 100 YDS; 2 REC, 17 YDS
  • RB James White: 4 CAR, 12 YDS; 6 REC, 49 YDS
  • RB Rhamondre Stevenson: 1 CAR, 2 YDS; 1 REC, 9 YDS, 1 FMBL
  • RB Brandon Bolden: 1 CAR, 6 YDS
  • WR Nelson Agholor: 5 REC, 72 YDS; 1 TD
  • WR Jakobi Meyers: 6 REC, 44 YDS
  • WR Kendrick Bourne: 1 REC, 17 YDS
  • TE Jonnu Smith: 5 REC, 42 YDS; 1 CAR, 6 YDS
  • TE Hunter Henry: 3 REC, 31 YDS

Trainer’s Room:

  • Offensive tackle Trent Brown left the game in the first due to a right calf injury

What’s Next?:

The Patriots will visit MetLife Stadium, and will take on the New York Jets in Week 2.

(Photo of Damien Harris by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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