New England Patriots

James Harrison of the New England Patriots runs during the second half against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

James Harrison made his presence felt despite a limited role in his Patriots debut on Sunday. The former Steelers linebacker sacked Jets quarterback Bryce Petty twice on consecutive plays in the fourth quarter to cap his day and close out the game.

Petty fumbled on Harrison’s first sack, but the Jets recovered the football. Harrison earned his second sack on the very next play with just 37 seconds left in regulation, icing the Patriots’ 26-6 win for good.

Harrison played 28 defensive snaps out of a possible 57, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss on Twitter. By the time he passed 20 snaps, he already played the most snaps in any game than he had all season for the Steelers. He played 40 snaps in just five games played for Pittsburgh.

James Harrison of the New England Patriots looks on during the first half against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 31, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

James Harrison of the New England Patriots looks on during the first half against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 31, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

James Harrison: Gas in the tank?

His two sacks, however, came with the game already in hand for the Patriots. Harrison really turned heads in the third quarter with a third-down stop on Jets receiver Robby Anderson. After starting the play in coverage, Harrison burst back down the field to knock Anderson down at the legs.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick praised Harrison after the game. He complimented the linebacker after he had to do a lot of different things to get acclimated in a short period of time. Harrison described his transition to the Patriots as one of the hardest things he’s had to do in his career.

While he still had a limited role, Harrison showed flashes of his high-end potential. He also set the edge pretty well against the run when called upon. He suddenly looks like a potentially ingenious add for the Patriots. Especially if he can make similar plays in key situations in the AFC playoffs.

— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff.