BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots got off to a rough start vs. the Texans. But they were well on their way to steadying the ship with a 68-yard scoring drive to take a lead midway through the second quarter.
But then, once again, the fumble bug cost the Patriots.
This time, it was Damien Harris, who previously lost a critical fumble in the fourth quarter of the Patriots’ Week 1 loss to Miami. In this instance, the third-year back was on the very edge of crossing the goal line when cornerback Terrance Mitchell punched the ball free. Jaleel Johnson jumped on the loose ball in the end zone to recover it for Houston.
The ruling on the field was that Harris had crossed the goal line before losing the football. After the automatic review, though, the call was overturned.
After review, it’s a fumble at the goal line! 🏈🥊 #WeAreTexans
— NFL (@NFL) October 10, 2021
The fumble took six points off the board for New England, and gave possession to the Texans at their own 20-yard line. Instead of tying the game at 12-12 with a chance to take the lead on the PAT, the Patriots remained down 12-6. The Texans then drove 65 yards to kick a field goal and make it a 15-6 lead.
Fumbles have been issue for Patriots running backs this season. J.J. Taylor was inactive vs. the Texans a week after he lost a fumble against the Bucs. Rhamondre Stevenson was active vs. the Texans for the first time since Week 1, when he — like Harris — lost a fumble vs. the Dolphins.
Harris did score a touchdown on the Patriots’ first drive, taking a direct snap and following the block of fullback Jakob Johnson for a 1-yard score.