If you are a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and watched Super Bowl LII, you probably were keeping a close eye on New England Patriots linebacker James Harrison throughout the game. If that was indeed the case, you didn’t see the former Steelers outside linebacker contribute much of anything for the Patriots throughout the game.
Harrison, who signed with the Patriots just prior to their regular season finale against the New York Jets, following him being waived by the Steelers, played 68 total defensive snaps in Super Bowl LII against the Philadelphia Eagles on his way to registering just two total tackles and two quarterback hits.
Both of Harrison’s two tackles Sunday night, an assist and a solo, came on two different successful runs by Eagles running back Jay Ajayi and both came in the first half. Harrison’s first tackle of the game, an assist, came during the Eagles opening offensive possession and on 4-yard run by Ajayi on a 2nd and 3 play. Harrison’s other tackle during the game, a solo, came at the end of 26-yard 3rd and 4 run by Ajayi with 5:55 left in the first half.
As for Harrison’s two quarterback hits during Sunday’s Super Bowl loss, both came in the second half and both times the attempted throws by Eagles quarterback Nick Foles wound up being incomplete. Both of those drives, however, still resulted in scores for the Eagles offense.
Harrison’s biggest highlight of Super Bowl LII may have been him getting trapped inside during a second quarter outside run by Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount that resulted in a 21-yard touchdown for the former member of the Patriots. The other Sunday night highlight for Harrison was him attempting to get long strings of confetti off himself as he was walking off the field immediately after the Eagles beat the Patriots.
While Harrison has stated recently and since signing with the the Patriots that he wants to play at least one more season, we may have witnessed the last game of his career Sunday night in Minneapolis, MN. After all, Harrison will turn 40 years of age in May and with him now set to become an unrestricted free agent in March, it’s very doubtful that any team will be wanting to sign him and that includes the Patriots, who will now look to get injured players Dont’a Hightower, Shea McClellin and Derek Rivers back in 2018. In short, Harrison is no longer needed by the Patriots. Harrison is also not going to want to sign with just any team as well as he’ll be looking for a team he believes has a legitimate shot at winning the Super Bowl in 2018.
If indeed Sunday’s Super Bowl was the last game of Harrison’s long NFL career, then it is fitting that his last official snap played on the field came exactly like his first one did way back in 2002 and that’s as a member of special teams. Harrison was on the field Sunday night when Eagles kicker Jake Elliott connected on a 46-yard field goal with 1:10 left in the fourth quarter that put the Eagles ahead 41-33.
In the three playoff games that Harrison played in for the Patriots he registered just 8 tackles and 3 quarterback hits in 130 total snaps played, which was more than four times the amount of snaps he played for the Steelers during the 2017 regular season.