Josh McDaniels dug deep into the New England Patriots’ playbook for his team’s first touchdown of Week 5.
Facing third-and-goal from the Houston Texans’ 1-yard line, McDaniels dialed up the Wildcat, motioning quarterback Mac Jones out of the backfield. Running back Damien Harris took the direct snap and followed blocks by fullback Jakob Johnson and pulling guard Ted Karras into the end zone.
The short-yardage score capped an efficient opening possession for the Patriots, who covered 60 yards in 10 plays. The drive included three third-down conversions, with Jones providing the first two with completions to Kendrick Bourne (15 yards) and Nelson Agholor (11 yards).
The Patriots entered Sunday’s game without four of their five starting offensive linemen. Karras was among the replacements, and he made his presence felt early.
Harris nearly scored again on New England’s second drive but had the ball knocked out by cornerback Terrance Mitchell just before he crossed the goal line. It was the second red-zone fumble of the season for the third-year running back.